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Bureaucracy limits medical congresses, takes toll on economy

The Greek economy is set to lose millions of euros and hundreds of jobs due to a time-consuming procedure, reduced budgets and a quota placed on the organization of medical congress events in Greece, according to the Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers (HAPCO).

Besides reducing revenue and the number of jobs, the decision to restrict the number of events held in Greece, will also hinder growth and tax gains as well as impact a wide range of over 40 services companies that are directly involved in conference organization and planning.

The National Organization for Medicines (EOF) has made the application and approval procedure for such events time-consuming with many restrictions, HAPCO claims, including limiting the number of congresses healthcare professionals are allowed to attend in Greece and abroad, setting educational requirements as well as ruling out events held in regions where there are no leisure options available.

HAPCO argues that these new pre-requisites will reduce Greece’s representation at international events, which in turn will not allow interested bodies to attract similar events to Greece.

HAPCO is calling for authorities to re-examine the decision and ensure careful planning and respect to the legal framework. Despite being a member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries & Associations, Greek parties interested in organizing a congress or event must also go through the EOF procedure mentioned above.