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98 swine flu victims in Greece

19 January 2010 / 12:01:15  GRReporter
2388 reads

Victoria Mindova

Since the beginning of the epidemic the H1N1 virus has taken 98 victims in Greece. In the last two months recorded were 14 cases in which the deceased had not registered any chronic diseases or other health problems. On an official meeting with journalists on the occasion of 100 days from the management of the new PASOK government, Minister Mariliza Xenoyanakopoulou and Deputy Minister Fofi Genimata said that the second order of 8 million vaccines, which was made by the previous New Democracy government, was cancelled. 

Mariliza Xenoyanakopoulou explained that so far Greece has stocks of around 3.6 million swine flu vaccines totaling around €25 million. 476 centers have been created for vaccination throughout the country, in which 1.2 million vaccines are allocated. The number of vaccinated citizens remains relatively low - around 365 thousand citizens have been voluntarily vaccinated. The Minister announced that a plan is considered for the return of some of the vaccines in case they remain unused. At the same time there are negotiations with third parties for the sale of stocks of unused vaccines. Those are countries that were unable to obtain the required quantity of vaccines against H1N1 during autumn 2009. In order to apply adequate public control, the Health Ministry provided an open telephone line for civil complaints (1135) related to vaccination centers. According to Minister Xenoyanakopoulou  from December 3 of last year until January 14 of this year 171 complaints of different nature were made (the Minister did not go into detail), to which the Ministry has reacted in the work process. At the same time the hotline is responsible for calls from disabled citizens for vaccination in their homes. According to figures from the Ministry for the period of a month and a half the total number of vaccinated disabled people is 1789. 

Another important goal the Ministry of Health has set is to open 150 new centers for emergency aid by the end of February 2010. During the first 100 days of management of the new government 83 out of the 150-provided health centers were opened. The budget for this year plans to open up to 3000 new jobs for medical personnel - an important condition for the fast and efficient opening of the new emergency centers. 

Regarding the large debts of hospitals to warehouses and suppliers, representatives from the Ministry said that until now €1.2 billion were paid to cover unpaid bills from 2005, 2006 and a small fraction of the amounts due for 2007. Remaining are the obligations accounting for more than €5 billion, which have accumulated by the end of 2009. Minister Xenakopoulou addressed her sharp criticism towards the previous New Democracy government, which appointed private providers without tendering or exploring the market prices before signing contracts for drug delivery. Another reason for the enormous debt in the health sector is the lack of program for medicinal purposes in 2009, which is supposed to be followed by public hospitals in the country.

Tags: Swine flu H1N1 virus vaccinations
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