Greece Moves to Rein in Costs of Costly Hospital Medical Tests

ATHENS – Trying to control costs in a health sector battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, now in its third year, Greece’s Health Ministry wants Parliament to approve a measure requiring referral from a private doctor before getting expensive tests at public hospitals.

That would bar them from having the exams or consulting specialists without a medical referral as tests are routinely ordered in Greece at an enormous cost to the health budget.

Adding a personal primary doctor is one of the reforms envisioned in the new so-called Gatekeeper system in which those insured with the National Organization of Healthcare Services (EOPYY) will have a local pathologist or general practitioner as the first stop for health problems, said Kathimerini.

Those who want a test without seeing a personal doctor first will have to pay for it, although public insurance which used to pay 100 percent of all costs now requires a co-payment.

Health Minister Thanos Plevris said that the new system will be different from one introduced in 2014 that failed, this one insuring that doctors who sign up for the scheme will be reimbursed by EOPYY for registered patients and not consultations.



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