Greek state hospitals face serious financial problems making their operation extremely difficult, while debts to suppliers have reached 900 million euros.
In most instances, the operation of hospitals is based on the good will of staff and suppliers, as the National Health System (ESY) has not received any state funding between the months of February and April. According to Proto Thema newspaper, state hospitals received a total of 43.4 million euros for their operational needs for the first four months of 2015.
During the same period in 2014, hospitals received 229.6 million euros for operational needs in addition to 400 million for the repayment of outstanding debts. This year, Greek hospitals have not received any funds to repay debts, and have received only half of the 87.7 million euros allocated for operational costs.
Health ministry officials say that allocated funding to state hospitals for 2015 is only 1,38 billion euros, down from the 1.61 billion allocated in 2014, stressing, this figure had been decided by the previous government. The ministry also suggested to state hospital directors to utilize their reserve funds — totaling 258.5 million euros — to meet their needs.
Most hospital directors have dipped into their reserve fund in order to meet pressing needs. Yet, 93.4 million euros of the 258.5 million fund reserves are tied up for other uses. Some hospitals have a few hundred thousand euros available for operational costs. Others, have less than 40,000 euros available.
Meanwhile, hospital directors are trying try to keep their hospitals operational asking suppliers and service providers to continue supplying on credit. The directors are also asking doctors to exercise patience as they remain unpaid for several months for shifts they have worked.
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