Ministry of Health’s “hospital ticket” divides coalition government
The Ministry of Health’s introduction of a 25-euro “ticket” for admission in public hospitals has sparked a political conflict between the coalition government partners New Democracy and PASOK. To avoid further escalation, the Deputy Minister of Labor Vasilis Kegeroglou stated that the government will revise the measure.
According to the Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis, patients will be asked to pay a 25-euro “ticket” if they are to be hospitalized, in order to cover medical costs. The measure was introduced to help cover operating costs of the country’s ailing health system, which has suffered extensive budget cuts attributed to the financial crisis.
MPs from government partners PASOK aligned themselves with the opposition and demanded that the measure be withdrawn immediately, with the Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis arguing that it is not possible without any alternative source of funding. PASOK MP Petros Rigas announced that his party would submit a proposal.
Meanwhile Christos Protopapas took a harder stance and stressed that the 40 million euros necessary can drawn “from the tens of millions that were saved in healthcare by voting Mr. Georgiadis’ recent bill”. Mr. Georgiadis insisted “on an ideological basis; all of us who will be hospitalized once a decade will pay 25 euros so that the hospitals are funded and can buy medicine for the poor”.
Kegeroglou announces reevaluation of measure
The Deputy Minister of Labor Vasilis Kegeroglou explained that PASOK’s objections have been taken into consideration and the government will revise the controversial measure. Mr. Kegeroglou specifically claimed that the categories of exemption from the measure were rather vague.