Ongoing evaluation of management and resources of the state health service

An aging NHS that needs reform to ensure safe patient coverage, but also with the greatest efficiency of resources that are currently insufficient, sees Health Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis in his interview on in.gr

Therefore, it is planning measures aimed at reducing the waiting time of patients for treatment, through the digitalization of the system, the preparation of a digital file of patients, the introduction of quality indicators that will ensure the provision of health services safely. All this combined with effective management that will use the available funds.

As for the “barb” of the clawback, he admits that it is an outdated measure, but it must be replaced by measures discussed with the relevant authorities, while he does not fail to emphasize that in order to evaluate the benefits and costs of the new technology, our country will get a separate service in the EOF, whose through which it will coordinate with the rest of Europe from 2025.

A key measure is the digitization of the healthcare system

  1. Minister, you said that the health sector must be reformed “from scratch”. What bothers you most about its functioning as we all experience it today?

We fully understand the concerns of citizens regarding the functioning of the health system. Let’s not forget that this is a system that was created 40 years ago. Its rating is worth paying attention to because it offers important health services to millions of citizens without anyone paying a single euro. However, despite its endurance, reform is necessary years later as there are many problems that require serious treatment.

One of the main problems is the lack of coordination and organization in the operation and management of the system and the lack of local staff, which leads to delays in the provision of care and citizen protests, as well as increasing the burden on medical staff.

Recruitment has already been announced, by the end of the current four-year period, approximately 10,000 people in the health sectors, of which 6,500 are direct. However, to complete them and make the NHS more attractive, new incentives need to be provided and working conditions in hospitals improved. The above includes both the supply of medical equipment and essential materials and the provision of further education and training opportunities so that NHS doctors and nurses feel they have progression and career opportunities within the system.

  1. You prioritized hospitals. What does your design include?

One of our priorities is to improve the infrastructure of hospital buildings and offer high quality services in combination with modern equipment. In this context, both the Ministry of Health and the Greek Government are immediately promoting a program of construction and logistical modernization of 157 health centers, which will fully improve primary health care, but also 88 hospitals by planning a complete reform of all emergency units. , through the Recovery Fund.

A fundamental problem is the method of selection of hospital administrations. We need motivated, dedicated people to share our vision for modernizing the NHS and help us take it into the next day. The new governors must combine experience and the necessary qualifications not only in the field of healthcare, but also in administration, in order to be able to respond to new and challenging tasks.

In addition, we are pushing for a digital upgrade of the entire health system, with one of the goals being to reduce delays in delivering patient-centered care. The use of digital media and new technologies can overcome this problem. The reform includes the creation of an integrated patient management system with a digital patient file that will strengthen collaboration between different health services and improve the delivery of tailored care to patients. At the same time, we are creating a digital map of health so that we always know what is happening in every health structure of the country. It is a modern electronic healthcare system that will improve patient safety, facilitate the exchange of information between healthcare entities and enable the entire healthcare sector to function as one unit.

  1. What do you think is more important: good management or reduced funding?

Proper administration and effective management of resources are extremely important for the functioning of a modern European-style healthcare system. We have to watch both aspects simultaneously. Good management ensures efficient use of available resources. We must therefore improve both management and ensure adequate financing of the health system.

This presupposes continuous evaluation of the administration, current costs and the search for more efficient ways of financing, which will ensure the quality of services and serve our vision.

  1. What do you think is the reason for the limited preference of private doctors to strengthen the institution of the personal doctor? What alternatives do you see for primary health care?

The institution of a personal doctor is in the first phase of implementation. Already yesterday, a new policy was added to allow thousands of new rural doctors to enter, for the first time through a personal physician. It is an institution that has prospects for success in Greece. Greeks are deeply attached to their personal or family doctor.

In practice, this relationship will also facilitate the development of the patient population. Visualization of the patient’s health history, medical and pharmaceutical history will start from the personal doctor and then digitally transferred to each necessary doctor or hospital. However, always using the required codes to protect personal data.

  1. Innovative treatments are just around the corner, but they don’t cross national borders. What changes do you think should occur in the field of medicine?

Greek citizens have full access to new innovative treatments. There is no innovative medicine in Europe that would not reach our country immediately afterwards. Greece prides itself on having state-of-the-art treatments to cure patients with serious illnesses.

We also try to rationally manage these costs. We are implementing a national pharmaceutical policy that aims to link full access, effectiveness and safety to patient health and drug costs. I would also like to add that in a short period of time, Greece will get a mechanism for the assessment of health technologies within the framework of the EOF, but also of medicines within the framework of the European regulation on the assessment of health technologies (HealthTechnologyAssessment, HTA).

Finally, from 1/1/25, our country joins the Single European Policy for the Evaluation of Health Technologies and Medicines, so that there is a uniform evaluation method.

  1. After several extensions of Clawback, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly escalating their protests. What alternatives do you see so that hospital debts and deficits do not start again?

Clawback was established in the memorandum years to horizontally and drastically reduce pharmaceutical spending, which had skyrocketed in previous years. This is a measure and a means to take immediate action and limit the cost of medicines, as the income of citizens and the state budget has been significantly reduced.

This measure certainly needs rationalization even after so many years. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, the Ministry of Finance and EOPYY, we are working in this direction to have adequate answers. However, many important things need to be done in terms of rationalization of expenditure in general and rational management to make the country’s health system work within and within the rules.

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