Doctors and hospital staff in Greece have been on strike in protest at their government’s plans to close hospitals and lay off staff.
The Greek government intends to shut some hospitals completely and turn others into day centres. It is also getting rid of around 2,500 employees.
Greek doctor Piros Papakostantinou, who took part in the walkout, said ordinary people are suffering: “We are fighting so the people can have access to hospitals, so that no beds are lost, so that no hospital closes. We are also fighting for our jobs, for better conditions inside public hospitals and for free health care for all.”
Staff are already working longer hours for up to 40 percent less pay and hospitals lack essential equipment.
Many Greeks are no longer entitled to free treatment and must find the money to pay for medicines. The unemployed lose their right to universal health care after one year.
Michalis Laladakis, has epilepsy and is unemployed. The 49-year-old said he worries about how he will find the money for his treatment: “I have epilepsy, and up until five, six months ago my medication, which I need from the day I was born until the day I die, was free. And now I have to pay 25 percent of its price.”
The drastic cuts to Greece’s health service are part of the country’s agreement with its creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, known as the troika – to continue receiving loans.
Greece will also lay off another 15,000 public sector workers outright by the end of 2014.
Hundreds of doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who have been placed in the mobility pool – in which they are given eight months to find work in another civil service department or lose their jobs – gathered outside the health ministry to protest.
The health care workers are included in the 12,500 state employees placed in the September mobility scheme, which includes members of municipal police forces and teachers.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Sweden becomes first EU country to recognise the Palestinian State | euronews, world news
- 3Italy swamped by flash floods | euronews, world news
- 4Back to School for Romania’s new First Lady | euronews, world news
- 5What will you ask US Senator John McCain? | euronews, world news
- 6Turkish president Erdogan unveils his new palace of a thousand rooms | euronews, world news
- 7India PM Modi appoints Yoga minister | euronews, world news
- 8[Live] Rosetta’s Philae lands on comet 67P and enters the history books | euronews, world news
- 9Vladimir Putin most powerful man in the world – Forbes | euronews, world news
- 10European e-revolution people rise up | euronews, world news
- 11International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 12Where is the best place in Europe for women? | euronews, world news
- 13Nadia Comaneci: gymnast of perfection and defector | euronews, the global conversation
- 14Putin plans to leave G20 talks early amid Ukraine pressure | euronews, world news
- 15Philippe Starck: ‘Words like longevity and legacy have become almost avant-garde’ | euronews, the global conversation
- 16Transcript of hanged Iranian woman’s final message released | euronews, world news
- 17US says ISIL makes $1 million-a-day selling oil – even to enemies | euronews, world news
- 18Revealed: Europe’s capital cities where it’s hardest to be a foreigner | euronews, world news
- 19Syria: Islamic extremists pledge to press ahead with battle for Kobani | euronews, world news
- 20World news video | euronews the latest world news online | breaking world news video
Wires > News
- 17:09 CET U.S. releases Guantanamo prisoner to Saudi Arabia
- 16:34 CET Magnitude 6.8 quake hits central Japan; no tsunami warning – NHK
- 16:06 CET Mali records new Ebola case, linked to dead nurse
- 15:31 CET U.S. welcomes oil deal between Iraqi Kurdistan and Baghdad
- 15:22 CET West seen easing demands on Iran atom bomb ‘mea culpa’ in deal
- 15:16 CET Bodies of Armenian pilots removed from helicopter crash site
- 15:02 CET Russia to seek new partners if Western oil majors leave – minister
- 14:55 CET Polish opposition party calls for rerun of elections