Uninsured, Greek Cancer Patient Dies

ATHENS – A cancer patient who, like many during Greece’s economic crisis, didn’t have health insurance, has died after he was unable to find a state hospital that would treat him, according to officials where he was being cared for, the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Elliniko.

The charity clinic – which provides free medical assistance to people in need – said the 66-year-old was on a list of 10 cancer patients for whom efforts were being made to get them treated at local public hospitals through an emergency case procedure.

The man had reportedly visited the clinic in October.

Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis said there was no reason for the man not to be treated and suggested that his case was being exploited for “political reasons,” but didn’t say why a hospital wouldn’t accept him. Georgidias has also imposed a 25 euros admission fee for state hospitals which many poor say they can’t afford to make and will have to go untreated for a variety of ills.

Officials at the clinic disputed his claim and said the ministry had been informed a month previous about the patient’s condition but that there was no response. They also said there are others like him who are being treated at the clinic but need hospitalization and clinic officials said after the death that the others were then admitted to public hospitals.