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 © 2015 euronewsMore about:
- 1Ukrainian rebel attacks on city of Mariupol are condemned by the UN as a war crime
- 2Spain: NATO plane crash kills 10, injures 21
- 3Fidel Castro breaks silence on Cuba-US talks to resume relations
- 4[As it happened] Remembering the Holocaust at Auschwitz, 70 years on
- 5Ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko ‘killed at third attempt’
- 1International concern grows after fighting in Ukraine escalates
- 2Soaring Swiss franc may leave EU mortgage holders homeless
- 3Six French skiers perish in deadly Alpine avalanche
- 4Greek elections: SYRIZA on course to win, but may fall short of majority
- 5Auschwitz and other survivors who were ‘freed but never free’
- 1Pope Francis says Catholics don’t need to breed ‘like rabbits’
- 2Greek elections: SYRIZA on course to win, but may fall short of majority
- 3German men ‘can use toilet while standing’, judge rules
- 4Captured Ukraine troops forced to face angry crowd after Donetsk bus stop shelling
- 5No word on Japanese hostages after ISIL deadline passes
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2The power of the pen: Cartoonists worldwide react to the Charlie Hebdo attack | euronews, world news
- 3Immigration, racism in sport and the rise of extremism – Cantona shares his views | euronews, interview
- 4[LIVE] 12 dead after gun attack at French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo | euronews, world news
- 5[LIVE NOW] Massive unity rally in Paris, with similar marches in other French cities | euronews, world news
- 6[LIVE] Second hostage crisis erupts in Paris as police close in on Charlie Hebdo suspects | euronews, world news
- 7Muslim groups fear backlash after terrorist attacks in Paris | euronews, news
- 8International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 9“ISIL is the baby of George W Bush” | euronews, news
- 10Medieval Bruges is to get its own underground beer pipeline | euronews, world news
- 11Almost four million turn out for unity rallies across France | euronews, world news
- 12euronews apps : iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Nokia S40, Nokia Asha, Smart TV and Google Glass
- 13Key questions around the Charlie Hebdo killings go unanswered | euronews, world news
- 14A defiant Charlie Hebdo: it’s not the front page the terrorists would’ve wanted | euronews, world news
- 15HarperCollins wipes Israel off the map | euronews, world news
- 16NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 17eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 18France: Angouleme council takes down anti-homeless cages around benches after outcry | euronews, world news
- 19Grim task of retrieving bodies after wreckage of missing AirAsia plane found | euronews, world news
- 20Charlie Hebdo: Israeli paper deletes women from Paris march | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 21:34 CET Sharia police arrest 12 men accused of planning to wed in…
- 21:24 CET Brazil’s Rousseff urges cabinet to back belt-tightening
- 21:19 CET Somali PM names new 20-minister cabinet
- 21:09 CET Ukraine rebels say government forces pushed back near Donetsk
- 20:48 CET Blizzard hits U.S. northeast, New York spared its brunt
- 20:43 CET At least eight killed as gunmen storm hotel in Libyan capital
- 19:43 CET Greek PM Tsipras names anti-austerity cabinet, port sale halted
- 19:32 CET Stray bullets raise security concerns in Olympic host city Rio