ATHENS – With more teachers and doctors refusing to take assignments in remote places in Greece, including islands nearly isolated in the winter, the government said it will offer sweeteners to get them there.
That comes as those who took appointments after graduating from college – they have little choice where to go beyond ranking preferences but the government makes the pick – complain about the costs and living conditions.
Doctors and teachers assigned to outposts have to pay their way and some have said they can’t find affordable decent accommodations on their pay and for food, heating and transportation.
The State Accounting Office, said Kathimerini, will review the incentives package being prepared by the New Democracy government ahead of 2023 elections with civil servants a major voting bloc.
It’s aimed at persuading teachers and health workers to go to faraway islands and mountain villages to live during their assignments that can be a couple of years and offer them better living conditions and recompense, said Kathimerini.
Also on the table, the report said, is tax relief and the reduction of required insurance contributions and finding ways to lure those with strong evaluations to give up working in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and urban areas.
There will also likely be recruiting tele-education applications for research and remote assistance from other colleagues and scientists while for doctors and health workers there could be remote on-call duty and quicker raises.
Other measures to improve health services in remote areas include the use of boats and medical staff of the armed forces. Another plan foresees job openings for couples as a team, it was also said.
A draft of the measure shows that doctors serving in island regions can have duties filled during time off by physicians on short-term contracts or those locally and using an online platform to organize information and filling of vacancies.
Candidates will also have the opportunity to choose not only a geographical location or city but also a hospital after the end of their contract on an island, giving them preference.