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Society

New Democracy Will Replace Hospital Directors Who Fail Reviews

November 26, 2019

ATHENS – Without saying who would replace them, hospital directors who do not meet the criteria set by the New Democracy government in its evaluation procedure will be replaced without receiving compensation, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said.

“If there are any such indications that they are not serving the public interest as we understand it from a scientific perspective, they will absolutely be replaced without compensation,” he told Antenna TV.

“Doctors, nurses and paramedics, but above all patients, vulnerable groups and families … must feel that the state is organized … cares and provides solutions,” he added as the government released a list of newly-appointed hospital directors and deputies who will head the country’s biggest state-run hospitals, with past appointments often being made as political favors to party loyalists in successive governments.

In October, a state health committee started looking over 1,661 applications that were submitted for 111 hospital director posts that the Health Ministry aims to fill as part of its bid to overhaul the leadership of state health facilities.

The committee was charged with cutting the list and giving Kikilias, who would make the final decision, their recommendations but it wasn’t said who got the jobs finally.

The government said it wanted to crack down on financial mismanagement and boost efficiency at state hospitals by making directors subject to reviews on their performance.

The successful candidates will be asked to sign contracts listing 23 goals, including improving economic management and digital governance for regular reviews.

In March, 2017, Greece’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, upheld appeals by hospital directors fired by the then-ruling Radical Left SYRIZA which replaced them with party members who critics said were political cronies.

In the ruling, the high court said the government firings in 2015 through the Health Ministry were unjustified and the directors and managed should not have been released.

Out of 71 directors and managers at hospitals who were evaluated by the ministry in 2015, the year that the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition took power, 59 were dismissed.

The court upheld appeals lodged by 10 of those employees, deeming that the evaluations that were carried out did not justify dismissal, Kathimerini said.

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