(Greece) – The Greek economy has been making international headlines since before the first bailout when the recession first hit. With each new bailout, the Greek people have had to cope with austerity measures that were imposed on the country by its international creditors. These measures have been a requirement before the creditors would agree to release bailout funds. Measures such as increasing taxes, reducing pensions, and reduce civil worker salaries are all measures that are continuing to be implemented as Greece is poised to receive its third round of bailout funds. Many have wondered how these austerity measures would impact services such as healthcare.
According to the International Journal for Equality in Health, Greek people’s access to healthcare has decreased since the austerity measures were first enacted. Because of the economic crisis, Greece has experienced government cutbacks, many of which have impacted the healthcare sector. In a published study, the International Journal has stated that Greece has experienced huge cutbacks to health and public welfare in an attempt to reduce government spending and adhere to the austerity measures. The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions has shown that unmet medical need doubled from 7% in 2008 to nearly 14% in 2014. Meanwhile, the gap between access to medical care between poor and rich people has increased almost ten times.
The study’s conclusion is that the Greek economic crisis has certainly impacted the people’s access to medical care. The Journal believes that political circumstances, such as the multiple bailouts, the Greek elections from 2015, the refugee crisis, and other situations have all impacted the country’s ability to handle issues related to healthcare and wellness. They also go on to say that it is important for Greece to address this situation in the coming months and to not let the other issues in the country impact whether or not people can access medical care.