Michalis Chrysochoidis: “897 million euros more and 6,500 jobs in 2024 for health”

“We are committed to building a national health system that we deserve and are proud of. Our vision in the next five years is for the NHS to be among the top ten public health systems in Europe and to be a model for other countries,” said the Minister of Health. Michalis Chrysochoidisduring his position in the debate on the 2024 budget in the plenary.

Mr Chrysochoidis said that “in the program statements we took responsibility to respond to the health needs of the Greek family and this is a battle we continue to fight on many levels”. The minister emphasized that “the core of our efforts is to further strengthen the NHS, but also to adapt it to the modern health needs of a society that is constantly changing”.

He announced that “in a few days, the restructuring of the country’s hospitals will begin, starting with the appointment of a new administration with worthy leaders who will take the country’s hospitals into a new post-covid era, which is so different in terms of the health care needs of Greek men and Greek women.”

The minister mentioned four goals, which are “to improve the health of the country’s population.” Addressing inequalities in access to health services. Supporting the productivity and quality of healthcare services provided to minimize negative patient experiences. The contribution of the NHS to social and economic development’.

To realize these four goals, Mr. Chrysochoidis stated that “we are immediately proceeding with the necessary steps, policies and changes in the national social security system, with which we will immediately correct the weaknesses of the system, we will immediately introduce the reforms that we have promised to orient the National Social Security System for the future”.

The Minister of Health has set strategic priorities, which, as he stated, are “reducing the frequency of serious chronic diseases. Building a society friendly to seniors (especially in the matter of healthy living). Reduction of private household expenditure on health. Implementing reforms in the NHS, EOPPY and EOF and a number of other organisations’, as well as the National Health Policy with the National Prevention Plan.

Strategic treatment of 6 main chronic diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases – including diabetes and vascular – dementia, mental diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diseases of the musculoskeletal system). With the development of NHS staff, improvements in working conditions and a fair pay system (a productivity bonus to all staff which will come from reducing waste and increasing productivity).

By reducing waiting times (treatment – emergency – surgery lists) providing personalized, integrated, integrated, high quality and safe services based on documented medical knowledge. creation of reference centers for the most common and most serious chronic diseases. Full use of technology for the benefit of patients, preparation of the health map of the country.

Mr Chrysochoidis referred to National Health Service recruitment, saying that “after the release of the ASEP results, 4386 nurses will be progressively recruited in 2023 to meet the needs of hospitals and nursing homes in the country. There are also 1,710 vacancies for nursing and other staff, including 225 EKAV paramedics. 729 doctors of various specialties are also being recruited gradually, while 206 posts which were declared barren have been advertised again”.

The Minister pointed out that “the provision on the recruitment of doctors has been amended so that they are carried out in a short period of time, within 3 months at the most. The new plan for 2024 envisages 6,500 healthcare recruitments for 2024. Specifically, we are continuing to advertise 1,450 posts of doctors of various specialties of the NHS, 3,050 posts of nurses, 800 posts of EMS paramedics and 950 other employees for the country’s hospitals, as well as staff for critical controlled organizations.

Mr Chrysochoidis said that “for the first time, a practical anti-brain drain policy is to allocate 270 university places to the country’s medical schools, which will fill academic institutions but also the country’s university hospitals”. We believe, said the minister, that “these young scientists will move the system forward”.

Regarding the lack of drugs, the minister said that “we are dealing with persistence, consistency and constant monitoring of the phenomenon that affects the whole of Europe due to the lack of raw materials after the pandemic. Today, we are in a good situation well above the European average, while following the legislative adjustment we have proceeded to create a mechanism to monitor and inform citizens about the sufficiency of critical medicines in the country.

This mechanism will arrive very soon through a digital application in the citizen’s mobile for updating. And we are starting the shipment of medicines from EOPPY pharmacies again after the relevant regulation to patients’ homes to prevent the suffering of tens of thousands of our suffering fellow citizens”.

Referring to the 19 stroke units located in the same number of hospitals in the country, the minister said “two of them are already starting 24-hour operations from next Monday”. Soon, “a legislative initiative will be introduced regarding dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, which affects about 400,000 of our fellow citizens. In the near future, a bill will be brought to Parliament to effectively complete the Psychiatric Reform, 30 years after it began.

Where the National Network of Mental Health Services (NSS) is created for the first time, which is structured into Regional Networks of Mental Health Services, which operate under regional health administrations. Mental health services will now be managed by a deputy commander responsible for mental health issues for each health region.

The evolution of psychiatric hospitals and their integration into community networks will be completed, while the same bill will include the establishment of the National Organization for the Prevention and Treatment of Addictions and the Information Organization of Mental Health Services.

About the health care budget for 2024

Mr Chrysochoidis said that “the health budget for 2024 is increasing by 897 million euros”. Specifically, he stated that “for hospitals, primary health care and EKAPY, which has assumed a key role in the supply of medicines, this increase is higher by 486 million euros, i.e. 13.3%. Health sector projects included in the €1.9 billion Recovery Fund with an implementation schedule of 31/12/2025 are being contracted day by day and range from upgrading and renovating hospitals to major digital investments that will contribute to the improvement services to patients”.

This, the minister said, is “the highest percentage of spending that has been projected for health care in recent years and accurately reflects the government’s political and social priorities”.

Answers to the opposition

In response to questions and comments from parliamentary representatives of opposition parties, the Minister of Health described as “costless” and arbitrary claims that the government promotes the strengthening of private health care in relation to public health care, saying that “none of the evidence proves such a thing.

Today, there are 30,000 more people serving in the National Social Security Service than in 2019. And none of the support workers have been laid off and will not be laid off.” more nurses who are already being recruited. He noted that ESY leaves 500 per year and of course there are retirements, but the number of recruitments is very high.

He urged the opposition parties to abandon proclamations and empty words and asked them not to talk about the National Social Security System. The NHS said it “is much better than many other countries and somewhat more affordable”. Mr. Chrysochoidis emphasized that “historically the NSS has not received as much money (2 billion euros) as in the last three years”.

Finally, the minister “pointed out that there is a total shortage of 1 million health professionals in Europe today – the shortage is not only our problem”.

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