Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias outlined some health policy achievements in the few months since New Democracy was elected into government, while speaking on the fourth day of the parliamentary debate on the 2020 state budget on Tuesday.
Kikilias said the government is “implementing policies that relieve fellow citizens, particularly those who cannot have or do not have access to these policies.”
Some 900 tumor patients received their medication directly from private clinics, said Kikilias, while multiple sclerosis patients will also be able to do this as of January 2020, he added. The health minister also noted how blood products were provided to the clinics caring for patients who suffered burn injuries during the 2018 wildfires at Mati. Cystic fibrosis patients will also soon benefit from an agreement with a pharmaceutical company that will make the relevant medicines available.
The government also legislated no hikes in pharmaceuticals for 2020 and cuts on many of the current prices. Updated lists of medicines saved the state 180 million euros, while another 50 million euros came from reductions in social insurance contributions.
Some 3 million people received flu jabs, 1 million more people than last recorded, added the minister.
Referring to recruitment policy against health needs, Kikilias said 175 hirings of doctors at emergency departments are underway, as are 1,300 for nurses and attendants, 50 for ambulance crews and 950 for permanent doctors’ positions. He added that after many years, some 800 new doctors of all specialties, licensed after 2012, have signed contracts, and are being followed by some 1,500 specialist nurses.
“Contracts for 4,000 hospital workers have also been renewed,” the minister said and he added how the ambulance service has been upgraded and integrated with the National Health Operations Center towards crisis management, while coordinated ICU and ICT departments now operate on a 24-hour basis.