Greece’s deepening health crisis a result of continued healthcare budget cuts, says study

Greece’s deepening health crisis a result of continued healthcare budget cuts, says study

Greece’s health crisis is worsening as a result of continued healthcare budget cuts, says a new study. Researchers say the harmful effects of austerity are linked to the increasing inability of patients to access the health system, large rises in the incidence of infectious disease, and a deterioration in the overall mental health of Greek people.

via Living Well News — ScienceDaily:

Greece’s health crisis is worsening as a result of continued healthcare budget cuts, says a new study published in the medical journal, The Lancet. Researchers say the harmful effects of austerity are linked to the increasing inability of patients to access the health system, large rises in the incidence of infectious disease, and a deterioration in the overall mental health of Greek people.The authors from the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine find that Greece has had the largest cutbacks to the health sector seen across Europe, as the bailout package capped public expenditure at 6% of GDP. For example, from 2009 to 2011, the public hospital budget was reduced by over 25%. Greece’s public spending on health is now less than any of the other pre-2004 European Union members.Lead author of the study, Alexander Kentikelenis of Cambridge University, said: ‘The data reveals that the Greek welfare state has failed to protect people at the time they needed support the most. A rapidly growing number of Greeks are losing access to healthcare from budget cuts and unemployment.’Senior author Dr David Stuckler from the University of Oxford said: ‘The Greek government -along with their European partners — appears to have been in denial about austerity’s severe impact on health. The cost of austerity is being borne mainly by ordinary Greek citizens, who have been affected by the largest cutbacks to the health sector seen across Europe in modern times. We hope this research will help the Greek government mount an urgently needed response to these escalating human crises.’At a time of increasing health need and falling incomes, Greece’s bailout agreement stipulated shifting the cost of healthcare to patients. The Greek government introduced new charges for visits to outpatient clinics and higher costs for medicines. General health services were also eroded, says the paper. The authors’ analysis of the latest available data from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions revealed a 47% rise in people who felt they did not receive medically necessary healthcare. …

For more info: Greece’s deepening health crisis a result of continued healthcare budget cuts, says study

Living Well News — ScienceDaily

Greece’s deepening health crisis a result of continued healthcare budget cuts, says study

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