Scenarios for Drastic Reductions in Hospital Units, Health Budgets, and Medicines


In an effort to ensure the sustainability and resilience of the health system, the Ministry of Health is opting for a series of cuts in hospitalizations, EOPYY, and medicines closing hospitals, limiting hospital funding in hospitals that EOPYY must pay to the NHS, restricting EOPYY contracts with the private sector based on quality indicators, administering new technology medicines only to patients who add here to their maximum efficacy profile, and this after negotiating their price, includes New health procedures prepared by the Ministry of Health, at a time when the country’s health map is being drawn.

The relevant announcements were made by the Minister of Health Thanos Plouris in announcing the opening of the Hellenic Conference on Health Economics and Policy 2022, which will be held from 13 to 15 December in Athens.

At the beginning of his speech, the minister stressed the importance of the conference held by the late professor of health economics, Yiannis Kyriopoulos, as one of the most important conferences in the field of health, and emphasized the great legacy left by the professor, while he focused on the need for a technocratic treatment of health, in an attempt to ensure the sustainability and resilience of the health system.

Health Card

Mr. Ploris described that it is difficult to implement the sustainability and resilience of the health system without a health map, which is currently being prepared. He emphasized that health structures today are concerned with local politics, not health needs, and clinics will become the manager.

He said that with the upcoming changes, “strong structures will be created that will provide services and others that will change in character”, while later citing as an example that Crete could not have 8 hospitals, 4 of which are located in Lassithi. He added that “all surgeries performed in Ag. Nikolaou Hospital, the same amount is performed in the other three hospitals in the province, and finally it goes to PAGNI (University of Heraklion)”.

Speaking about the financing of the National Health Service, the minister indicated that efforts are being made to “cancel the state budget” and fund hospitals with hospital fees paid by the National Health Insurance Fund. “The effort will start from 2023 in the 7th health district in Crete, on a trial basis.”

Regarding EOPYY, he talked about a new approach, because until recently “anyone who wanted to be active in the health field had to sign a contract with EOPYY”, but from now on, EOPYY will buy “the best services at the best price”, with quality marks which have already begun to be applied in magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography.

Difficulty with Balance in Medicine

Medicine, Mr. Pleuris described as one of the hardest pillars with the most difficult balance. He has admitted that until the golden ratio is found “we obviously hide behind the clawback and the discount”, but through the evaluation (for health technologies) and the negotiations that have been put in place, “we closed 2022 with a profit of 348 million euros what was closed”. Budgets and medicines for victory and with an interest of 80 million bonuses for hospitals.

He announced that with the limitations of EOPYY prescriptions and therapeutic protocols through HDIKA and the investigation of upcoming new therapies (Exploring the Horizon), there will be better results in 2023.

But to strengthen the budget for drug expenditures, with the arrival of new treatments, Mr. Ploris gave as an example a new treatment that could burden the budget with 100 million euros.

For this, an evaluation of the indicators will be carried out and will be used in the indicators with maximum effectiveness and not for all. There will be determined the number of patients who will receive treatment.

After that, this drug will be subject to a negotiating committee where the burden on the budget will be reduced, for example to 40 million euros. Deducting the number of treatments that the new treatment will replace, the fee will be limited to 20-30 million euros. This is the amount that will be required to reinforce the budget.

Prevention and Final Care

In his speech, Mr. Ploris announced the strengthening of immediate legislation for palliative care but also for home care so that the patient does not remain in the hospital, while he spoke of preventive control programs within the Spyros Doxiadis program, which go beyond mammograms, will extend to cervical, colon and cardiovascular cancers circulatory system, and secondly to childhood obesity. He also mentioned the establishment of the personal physician institution and recent legislative changes to secondary (hospital) care.

Efficiency and Fairness

In the ensuing questions, Professor of Primary Health Care at the Medical College of Crete, Christos Leonis, noted the need to assess the effectiveness of the health system and equality of access, but also to link these two criteria to health. population needs.

For her part, Elpida Paves, Dean of the School of Public Health at Western Attica University, spoke about the efficiency of primary care as planned, because it acts as a barrier to prevent cases from reaching hospitals that they should not. He also emphasized that hospitals in our country treat acute cases and there are no long-term care structures, so once acute treatment is over, there is nowhere for the case to go.

He even stressed that with the change happening in hospitals, attention needs to be paid to long-term care structures, in addition to palliative care and planned end-of-life care.


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