Greek health system crumbles under weight of crisis…
(Reuters) – Greece’s rundown state hospitals are cutting off vital drugs, limiting non-urgent operations and rationing even basic medical materials for exhausted doctors as a combination of economic crisis and political stalemate strangle health funding.
With Greece now in its fifth year of deep recession, trapped under Europe’s biggest public debt burden and dependent on international help to keep paying its bills, the effects are starting to bite deeply into vital services.
“It’s a matter of life and death for us,” said Persefoni Mitta, head of the Cancer Patients’ Association, recounting the dozens of calls she gets a day from Greeks needing pricey, hard-to-find cancer drugs. “Why are they depriving us of life?”
Greece, a member of the euro zone that groups some of the richest nations on earth, has descended so far that drugmakers are even working on emergency plans to keep medicines flowing into the country should it crash out of the currency bloc.
The emergency has grown out of a tangle of unpaid bills, with pharmacists and doctors complaining of being unable to pay suppliers until competing health insurers clear a growing backlog of unfilled state payments.
Greece imports nearly all its medicines and relies heavily on patented rather than cheaper generic drugs, making it vulnerable to a funding squeeze that would grow sharply worse if it were forced out of the euro after elections on Sunday.
Long queues have been forming outside a handful of pharmacies that still provide medication on credit – the rest are demanding cash upfront until the government pays up a subsidy backlog of 762 million euros, or nearly $1 billion.
“We’re not talking about painkillers here – we’ve learned to live with physical pain – we need drugs to keep us alive,” Mitta, a petite former marathon runner and herself a cancer survivor, said in a voice shaky with emotion.
Greeks have long had to give medical staff cash “gifts” to ensure good treatment. Nevertheless the health system was considered “relatively efficient” before the crisis despite a variety of problems including a fragmented organization and excess bureaucracy, according to a 2009 report for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
We are getting there! Read this about our doctors!
I’ll be interested in seeing how President Axelrod spins this news.
The Doctor Patient Medical Association just completed a survey on doctors’ attitudes about the future of American medicine. The key findings included:
• 90% say the medical system is on the WRONG TRACK
• 83% say they are thinking about QUITTING
• 61% say the system challenges their ETHICS
• 85% say the patient-physician relationship is in a TAILSPIN
• 65% say GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT is most to blame for current problems
Now some good stuff on obama bypassing congress and the constitution to give about 800,000 illegals amnesty.
By Pam Benson
For the first time, the Obama administration has publicly stated that U.S. military forces are engaged in direct action against suspected terrorists in Yemen and Somalia.
In a letter to Congress on Friday, President Barack Obama informed lawmakers of U.S. military actions in the two nations that have seen significant terrorist activity and civil unrest.
On Somalia, the president stated, “In a limited number of cases, the U.S. military has taken direct action in Somalia against members of al Qaeda, including those who are also members of al-Shabaab, who are engaged in efforts to carry out terrorist attacks against the United States and our interests.”
Obama noted that U.S. forces have been working with Yemen to dismantle al Qaeda’s powerful affiliate there.
“Our joint efforts have resulted in direct action against a limited number of AQAP (al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) operatives and senior leaders in that country who posed a terrorist threat to the United States and our interests,” Obama wrote.
Like every time some liberal asshole, or holder, complains how it disenfranchises black voters.
Republicans should hammer them with, “why aren’t you whining about showing your ID to get into Obama campaign events?”
President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign checked the identification of the supporters attending Obama’s “framing” event at Cuyahoga Community College today.
The 1,500 supporters in attendance picked up tickets at campaign offices in Northeast Ohio beginning on Monday, though tickets to the event made no mention of an ID requirement.
Jessica Kershaw, the Obama campaign’s Ohio Press Secretary, confirmed in a statement to BuzzFeed that the campaign checked every supporter’s identification at the door. “We checked every ID at the door to make sure it matched with the name on the ticket that supporters filled out,” she said. “We did this for every person who came in.”
“We checked every ID at the door to make sure it matched with the name on the ticket that supporters filled out,” she said. “We did this for every person who came in.”