Austerity Brings Greece’s Healthcare System to Its Knees
Greece is broke, and it agreed to big cuts in government spending in return for a bailout by other European countries. However, because that austerity deal was so hated by Greeks, the government fell. The country will vote for a new parliament Sunday.
The question is: Will a new government abandon the bailout agreement, undermining the euro currency and the European Union? Why would Greeks risk that?
Dr. Chris Rokkas is a top cardiologist at Attikon hospital, but these days the U.S.-trained surgeon rarely sets foot in an operating room, which is bad news for Georgia Scambi, who needs surgery urgently.
“She is in serious risk for developing a fatal heart attack at this point,” Dr. Rokkas said.
If he were in a hospital in America, Dr. Rokkas would have operated within 24 hours. One week later, however, he’s still waiting for the right equipment.
Greece’s bureaucratic healthcare system has always been inefficient, but austerity measures introduced in the wake of the financial crisis have cut public health spending by 25 percent — $12 billion — bringing the system to its knees.