Deloitte survey: Health spending in Greece down 40 pct in 2009-2015

Health spending in Greece plunged 40 pct in the 2009-2015 period, Deloitte said in a survey released on Thursday.

According to the survey, health spending fell to 14.1 billion euros in 2014, hit by a significant shrinking in medical/pharmaceutical coverage by the state and the social insurance system. It also stressed that this sharp decline mostly hit pharmacies and other professionals in the health sector and less the country’s hospitals.

Hospital spending fell to 6.2 billion euros in 2015, from 9.0 billion in 2009, for an average annual decline of 6.0 pct, while average annual decline in the retail sector reached 7.0 pct and 9.0 pct, respectively.

Deloitte said the state social insurance system covers 59.1 pct of total health spending in Greece, with patients covering a 35.5 pct -a percentage significantly higher compared with other European countries (UK 9.5 pct, France 6.7 pct, Italy 21.7 pct). A 3.7 pct of total health spending is covered by private insurance contracts.

Private hospitals were also hit during the 2009-2015 period, leading to more consolidation as the number of private hospitals fell by 6.0 pct and their size grew by around 1.0 pct. The total number of private and state hospitals in Greece was 283, mostly in Attica, offering 45,900 beds. The survey said that the number of beds surpassed demand by at least 18 pct.

The survey noted that health spending recovered slightly to 14.7 billion euros in 2015 and stressed that international investors were showing strong interest for business deals in Greece.