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Drug and surgery prices go down

18 February 2010 / 17:02:59  GRReporter
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In order to limit expenses in healthcare funds, the Social Minister and Minister of Economy, will sign a decision tomorrow and will lower the prices of 20 percent of medicines. Over €2 billion will be brought to the Treasury from renting real estate to the Ministry of Employment, announced today Minister Andreas Loverdos. 

Minister Andreas Loverdos along with Minister of Economy Louka Katseli will sign tomorrow a joint decision to lower the price to 6500 or 20% of all medicines. According to initial assessment by Minister Loverdos the new price is probably be implemented by early April. 

The biggest expenses for healthcare funds was found to be that drugs and hospital materials are overpriced so the ministry is directing its efforts to identify the overvalued real prices of drugs and materials, which will save a total of €1 billion for funds with estimated €600 million profit for this year. 

Part of the reform is the decision of the Director of IKA to introduce new prices for medical examinations. As a start the prices of the following surgeries will fall: cholecystectomy - from €1100 to €770, appendicectomy - from €1100 to €770, gynecological surgeries from €1100 to €770, hernia - from €950 to €665, gastric bypass surgery from €4500 to €3150, etc. 

In order to bring fresh money into the funds of the Ministry, next week a decision will be declared on how to operate the real estate, which is owned by the offices of the Ministry of employment, without it being sold. It is estimated that this will bring €2 billion revenue, and instead of buildings swallowing money for maintenance, they will begin to bring profits to the state. 

Parts of the measures are the regular labor audits from inspectors from the ministry, which have already led to results. According to data presented by the Minister, reviewed were over 5000 companies, employing 6 196 people, out of whom 1211 were uninsured or about 20%. Meanwhile, based on initial data for January, 2010 the revenue of the pension fund IKA increased by 3.5 percent in comparison with December 2009 

According to the Minister the results of the social measures, taken within the program of stabilization, will be visible during the first six months of the year. 

The objectives of the Ministry of Employment are two - a radical reform for the pension system and the application of the stability program, said Minister Loverdos and the idea is to limit expenses and to increase revenue in state pension funds. This is why every month there will be strict control over the expenses of the services of the Ministry and a statement will be given, which will inform the European Commission, the European Bank, and PM Giorgios Papandreou. 

Within the framework of the reform next week a bill of labor relations will be ready, which will be submitted for approval by the Council of Ministers, and after two weeks the report of the Commission of Experts for the pension system is expected. Minister Loverdos noted the launch of the OAED programs for the increase purchase ability of the unemployed - the main points in the employment policy for 2010, focusing on employment among young people aged 18-30 years and among long-term unemployed.

Tags: Reforms in Greece Economy medicines hospitals healthcare
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