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Hospital ticket divides government

The Ministry of Health’s introduction of a 25-euro “ticket” for admission in public hospitals has sparked a political conflict between the coalition government partners New Democracy and PASOK. To avoid further escalation, the Deputy Minister of Labor Vasilis Kegeroglou stated that the government will revise the measure.

According to the Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis, patients will be asked to pay a 25-euro “ticket” if they are to be hospitalized, in order to cover medical costs. The measure was introduced to help cover operating costs of the country’s ailing health system, which has suffered extensive budget cuts attributed to the financial crisis.

MPs from government partners PASOK aligned themselves with the opposition and demanded that the measure be withdrawn immediately. PASOK MP Petros Rigas announced that his party would submit a proposal.

PASOK MP Christos Protopapas took a harder stance and stressed that the 40 million euros necessary can drawn “from the tens of millions that were saved in healthcare by voting Mr. Georgiadis’ recent bill”. Mr. Georgiadis insisted “on an ideological basis; all of us who will be hospitalized once a decade will pay 25 euros so that the hospitals are funded and can buy medicine for the poor”.

Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis on Friday responded to objections expressed by socialist PASOK to a 25-euro charge that state hospitals are to charge anyone admitted for treatment, calling on the junior coalition partner to propose other measures that will raise the 40 million euros that the incentive is projected to bring in.