Staff fiasco with the personal doctor

Staff fiasco with the personal doctor
Staff fiasco with the personal doctor

Health Minister Thanos Pleuris may believe that the participation in the “personal doctor” measure has exceeded his expectations, however the participation of private doctors seems to change the picture. Most turn their backs on the government’s call, for institutional and financial reasons – as they say – giving as an example the salaries of doctors in Cyprus. There “family doctors get triple the money” note private doctors in Documento.

As a result of the absence of private doctors from the measure, the insured are forced to look for a “personal doctor” many kilometers away from their place of residence.

In the end, the doctors of the NHS (health centers, TOMY), who are already burdened with many other responsibilities, are again called upon to pull the snake out of the hole, but it has not yet been clarified how they will manage to cope with their new obligations and at the same time on-call.

“The government turns a primary right, such as that of access to health services, into coercion” the doctors comment regarding the “penalty” of paying a “extortion” in the execution of the prescription for the insured who do not choose a personal doctor, while making it clear that Greece is far from light years from the countries that offer substantial primary health care, which acts as a protective bulwark for hospitals.

Speaking to Documento, primary care doctors describe the government’s initiative as “a hole in the water”, as they note that it does not seek to meet real health needs, stressing: “For the institution to succeed, recruitment of doctors in primary care is needed”.

“2,000 patients is a lot for each doctor”

If anything has become absolutely clear during the pandemic, it is the absence of primary health care (PHC), causing, among other things, an even greater burden on hospitals. In vain the hospital doctors asked the government to strengthen the PHY. Instead he weakened it further, sending doctors from the health centers to fill the gaps in the hospitals.

Now they themselves are “recruited” as personal doctors to enroll insured people so that the measure succeeds at least on the level of enrollments and not substance – as they say. “The 2,000 patients are too many. Practically everything that they describe how to do does not come out during the hours we have to work if you take into account that we NHS doctors also have on-call hours” notes Stelios Dimitrakopoulos, general practitioner at the Agia Varvara Health Center in Heraklion, Crete.

“There will be better primary care than the one that existed after this law,” argues Evangelos Fragoulis, general family doctor and general secretary of the Hellenic Association of General Medicine, but he clarifies: “Clearly it will not be ideal. The average citizen list for a doctor in Europe is 1,680 people. In Sweden they are trying to have 1,200 people. The smaller the list you have, the more time there is for a patient.”

Patient in Athens, doctor in Crete

The absence of geographical restriction in the selection of a personal doctor shows the government’s sloppiness. “What shows how sketchy the project is and that what it wants to satisfy is not the real health needs is the fact that anyone can register without geographical restriction. That is, for someone from Athens to have a personal doctor in Crete” observes St. Dimitrakopoulos.

“These are emergency solutions. Ideally, for the system to work, all the private pathologists and general practitioners of the country should participate,” explains Evagg. Frangoulis.

However, the question posed by the doctors is whether a patient will be able to find his personal doctor who works in a health center. “In urban centers it is understood that one will not be able to find the doctor. In any case, there are very few doctors and the population is very large” emphasizes St. Dimitrakopoulos and continues: “There are some areas in the region where staffing with general practitioners is good and access is relatively easy. So there is the possibility to find a doctor when needed and make an appointment relatively quickly.”


The article is in Greek

Tags: Staff fiasco personal doctor

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