Europe is the theater of a Greek tragedy

14 Feb

When egoism strikes men, it is also contagious for nations.

English: The logo of Greece's health ministry.

Image via Wikipedia

I have selected for the benefit of my readers some articles issued by The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, focusing on the consequences of the Greek economic and political crisis on Health Services. Greece is in Europe; nevertheless this country seems abandoned by the Europeans. After the world war two in Europe, starting from ruins, a welfare system was reconstructed. Nowadays it seems like we assist exactly to the reverse: Europe, starting from a well build welfare system is being ruined. In both cases only the will of human beings is at work. After World war two those men in charge were the former resistance fighters while now they are bankers and traders. Even perhaps the latter could be the grand sons of the formers. With their Marshall plan the USA helped Europe in the past. But now it seems that no one would stand up for that purpose.

Greece’s financial crisis dries up drug supply:

Eva Karamanoli; http://www.thelancet.com Vol 379 January 28, 2012

Resume: The pharmacies run short of medicine as important as Parkinson treatment or Epilepsy treatment. International pharmaceutical laboratories hesitate to deliver their product to Greece because of the lowering that government imposed to the price of medicines in the context of health budgets cuts. Patients have to pay in cash pharmacist before holding medicine because social security funds take months to reimburse; if not wholesalers cannot deliver the drug to the pharmacist.

 

Health eects of financial crisis: omens of a Greek tragedy:

Alexander Kentikelenis, Marina Karanikolos, Irene Papanicolas, Sanjay Basu, Martin McKee, David Stuckler; http://www.thelancet.com Vol 378 October 22, 2011

Resume: The rate of suicides has grown during the crisis, as well of the rate of HIV or Sexual Transmissible Infections (secondary to an increase of drug users and prostitution). Criminality rates have also increased (homicide and theft). Primary care practitioner consultations have not been implemented although they were needed while rate of admission in public hospitals has increased.

 

Increased suicidality amid economic crisis in Greece

Marina Economou, Michael Madianos, Christos Theleritis, Lily E Peppou, Costas N Stefanis; http://www.thelancet.com Vol 378 October 22, 2011

Resume: The suicide rate has increased by 40% since the beginning of the crisis. It is highly associated with the economic distress in the surveyed population.

 

IMF and European co-workers attack public health in Greece

Konstantinos Triantafyllou, Chryssi Angeletopoulou ; http://www.thelancet.com Vol 378 October 22, 2011

Resume: At the demand of the International Monetary Fund and the European Central bank, health care spending cuts will lead Greece to lose 26 000 public health workers (of whom up to 9100 doctors). According to the author the inevitable consequence will be the worsening of the health of the population as it has been already observed in all the countries previously “aided” by the IMF in the world. But this latest fact is contested by the IMF.

 

Debt crisis strains Greece’s ailing health system

Eva Karamanoli; http://www.thelancet.com Vol 378 July 23, 2011

Resume: In order to cut spending, clinics will be merged and a special body of primary care will be created to alleviate the public hospital’s burden. Indeed, in one hand public hospitals are lacking or in short supply of elementary material such as gloves, IVs, gazes or medicines and the patients undergoes long waiting times while in the other hand people use public hospitals instead of private practices not to have to advance the money because Social security reimbursements have to be waited for months.

To say it short, the overall situation is: Health insurance fund owes money to health providers who themselves owes money to wholesalers who owes money to pharmaceutical industry. The health services strongly have to be rebooted in Greece.

 

Greek academic psychiatry and neurology before the firing squad?

Thomas Paparrigopoulos, Ioannis Liappas; http://www.thelancet.com Vol 378 July 23, 2011

The most important psychiatric hospital in Greece whose chiefs of departments are also keys opinion leaders in their speciality experience a 30 % budget cut. Greek academic psychiatrists are now an endangered specie which need urgently to be preserved.

 

Works consulted (in the same order):

http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673612601299.pdf

http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673611615560.pdf

 

http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673611616383.pdf

 

http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673611616395.pdf

 

http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673611611525.pdf

 

http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673611611586.pdf

 

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