Inside The Dramatic Collapse Of Greece’s Healthcare System

Saturday, December 8, 2012
By Paul Martin

Benoît Vitkine/LeMonde
Dec. 8, 2012

THESSALONIKI – It was in 2009 – what feels like ages ago now – that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that the Greek healthcare system was “rather efficient.”

Around that very same time, doctors in Thessaloniki successfully cured “Mrs. I.” from melanoma. When her cancer came back three years later, they did not even try. “Mr. I.” asked to remain anonymous when telling his wife’s story.

“Doctors prescribed a treatment, but since it was potentially quite expensive, it had to be approved by a commission of doctors and hospital administration officials,” he explained. “They denied treatment. One of the members of the commission took me aside and told me, ‘We had to make a choice and we are going to keep this money to heal children. Your wife is 62, let her die at home.’”

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