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"A Matter Of Life And Death": The Collapsing Greek Health-Care System Is In Critical Condition

Tyler Durden's picture




 

While by now virtually everyone around the world is intimately familiar with the nuances of Greek electoral law, knows the names of Greek politicians better than of those at home, and is all too aware of the broader media propaganda that unless Greece does as the banks demand the world as we know it will end, one aspect of the Greek collapse into hell has gotten lost: the complete failure of the Greek healthcare system. As the following Reuters report shows, regardless of the outcome on Sunday, it just may be too late to preserve the future of Greek sickcare, and with that, of the entire population: "The country's state hospitals are cutting off vital drugs, limiting non-urgent operations and rationing even basic medical materials for exhausted doctors as a combination of economic crisis and political stalemate strangle health funding. "It's a matter of life and death for us," said Persefoni Mitta, head of the cancer patients' association, recounting the dozens of calls she gets a day from patients needing pricey, hard-to-find cancer drugs. "Why are they depriving us of life?"" They are depriving of you of life, Persefoni, because in old times, when a given country was enslaved, there was a specific aggressor that the people could revolt against. Now, when the slave-master is debt, and thus one's own desire to live beyond their means, it is far more difficult to look in the mirror and to revolt against what one sees. Which is why, one day at a time, the Greek civilization will continue to suffer the terminal consequences of infinite debt serfdom, until finally, after two thousand years, it no longer exists.

The sad tale continues:

The emergency has grown out of a tangle of unpaid bills, with pharmacists and doctors complaining of being unable to pay suppliers until competing health insurers clear a growing backlog of unfilled state payments.

 

Greece imports nearly all its medicines and relies heavily on patented rather than cheaper generic drugs, making it vulnerable to a funding squeeze that would grow sharply worse if it were forced out of the euro after elections on Sunday.

 

Long queues have been forming outside a handful of pharmacies that still provide medication on credit - the rest are demanding cash upfront until the government pays up a subsidy backlog of 762 million euros, or nearly $1 billion.

 

"We're not talking about painkillers here - we've learned to live with physical pain - we need drugs to keep us alive," Mitta, a petite former marathon runner and herself a cancer survivor, said in a voice shaky with emotion.

 

Greeks have long had to give medical staff cash "gifts" to ensure good treatment. Nevertheless the health system was considered "relatively efficient" before the crisis despite a variety of problems including a fragmented organisation and excess bureaucracy, according to a 2009 report for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

 

But it has been unable to respond to the growing crisis. The European Union and International Monetary Fund, which provided a 130 billion euro lifeline to Greece in March, have demanded big cuts to the system as part of a wider package of austerity measures.

 

But powerful medical lobbies and unions have resisted fiercely. Caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, in office until a new government is formed after the elections, has pleaded for a solution but been powerless to force a change.

 

"It is imperative that this matter is resolved immediately in order to prevent putting people's lives at risk," Pikrammenos said last week.

No bed sheets or paper...

Outside one of the 133 state hospitals - whose managers have sometimes been appointed as supporters of whichever political party was in power at the time - a banner put up by protesting staff reads "Hospitals Belong to the People". Inside, its gloomy labyrinth of corridors tell a different story.

 

A doctor at the university hospital in the northwestern Athens suburb of Chaidari cites a lack of basic examining room supplies in her own department, such as cotton wool, catheters, gloves and paper used to cover the examining table.

 

The shortage of paper, which is thrown out after each patient has used it, means corners have to be cut on hygiene.

 

"Sometimes we take a bed sheet instead and use it for several patients," said Kiki Kiale, a radiologist specialising in cancer screening. "It's tragic but there's no other solution."

 

Kiale, 52, said staff cutbacks and a lack of crucial equipment - including a digital mammography machine - meant some doctors were seeing 40 patients during a shift but many patients were still unable to get treatment.

 

In the chaos, patients can slip through the cracks or turn up for treatment again only when their illness has progressed too far for them to be saved.

And it just goes on and on...

Because every excess debt-induced binge always has tragic price, no matter what three letter economic schools of voodoo though lead one to believe otherwise.

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Fri, 06/15/2012 - 07:57 | 2528697 BW
BW's picture

Breaking - Lawyers for Ron Paul make HUGE announcement! We are Uniting to Change the World with President Paul!

 

No joke!!!
The lawyers for Ron Paul have announced they are taking over the Ron Paul campaign and they will challenge every single voter fraud claim this Whole election.
Romney rigged this election, & they claim they have proof.
Ron Paul WILL BE ON THE NOMINATION!!!
the delegates will all be UNBOUND!
We are NOT letting this Tyrannical takeover Happen!!
This announcement happened at 10 pm Thursday.
The lawyers are offering support to EVERY DELEGATE TO ENSURE THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE! no matter what candidate they support, we will help them vote for their true choice.

This audio clip is the most important clip of this WHOLE Campaign.

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?380736-MAJOR-ANN...

If you quit on the movement, you owe Ron Paul an apology....
And get your ASS BACK IN GEAR!!!

 

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:02 | 2528709 Colombian Gringo
Colombian Gringo's picture

I have seen the future of Obamacare and it looks like Greece.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:15 | 2528735 sudzee
sudzee's picture

Rand Paul supports Romney? Threats? Intimidation? PROOF? Lawyers? RICO? No mention by MSM?

Hmmmmmmm.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:32 | 2528763 TruthHunter
TruthHunter's picture

"Breaking - Lawyers for Ron Paul"

TROLL!

Did you even read the article?

Actually, during the Canadian doctors strike death rates dropped. Iatrogenic causes of mortality

are more pervasive than doctors would like you to know.  

 

Instead of expensive cancer drugs that barely work, 

maybe the Greeks will start using ones the can afford like mebendazole.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 09:54 | 2529048 Abiotic Oil
Abiotic Oil's picture

Isn't it interesting mebendazole is no longer manufactured in the US now that the de-wormer has shown to better at fighting cancer than chemo?

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 10:45 | 2529281 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Been going on for almost a century. Google "Royal Rife" and prepare to be outraged.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:00 | 2528700 Mongo
Mongo's picture

Thank you Mr Barroso and Herman von Rumpoy!

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:01 | 2528703 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

I guess the Healthcare would'nt be bailed out in a coordinated global action like the Banks?

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:01 | 2528707 ghengis86
ghengis86's picture

Damn...

They need ~300 good countrymen to serve up the banksters and their muppet politicians.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:04 | 2528712 Bastiat009
Bastiat009's picture

Health-Care? Who cares? Are bankers fine? That's all the world cares about, no? Peasants can die as long as Geithner's friends are ok.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:05 | 2528713 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

"in old times, when a given country was enslaved, there was a specific aggressor that the people could revolt against. Now, when the slave-master is debt, and thus one's own desire to live beyond their means, it is far more difficult to look in the mirror and to revolt against what one sees"- Debt = Slavery Perfected

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:30 | 2528759 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

Actually, it is pretty easy to revolt against debt.  The hard part is figuring out who to tell.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:05 | 2528714 blueRidgeBoy
blueRidgeBoy's picture

If I don't give one shit for the welfare of Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, or Syrians, why should I give one shit for the Greeks?  America first!

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:08 | 2528724 RECISION
RECISION's picture

And only the Right Americans too...?

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:19 | 2528745 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

If I don't give one shit for the welfare of Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, or Syrians, why should I give one shit for the Greeks?  America first!

Where is AnAnonymous when you need him.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:06 | 2528715 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

I would'nt advocate violent revolution, but all the people need to go off the matrix and organise themselves.

Stop paying interest payments to banks, take everything out of the banks and people who have excess give some to ones who dont.

The ones who dont have financial resources, should contribute their labour.

People would work for years in bondage to pay for debts and iPhones but wouldnt break a straw to help their kin in need.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:06 | 2528717 RECISION
RECISION's picture

People are expendables.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:07 | 2528718 Jason T
Jason T's picture

You want globalization?  That is globalization.  Banks get to decide who gets to eat and who doesn't.  Who gets heat and who doesn't.  Who gets to wipe their ass with toilet paper and who doesn't.   

First act of Congress included big tarriffs on cheap Engish made goods so America could develope it's own industry and thus become self sufficient.  Founding Fathers were clear thinkers.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 12:46 | 2529698 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Sshhhh we're still telling the plebs that economic protectionism is BAD! pfffffttttchtchtch

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 13:45 | 2529940 jmc8888
jmc8888's picture

Close.  What you are wrong about (not much) is that most weren't English goods, they were Imported by the East India company from elsewhere.  Being forced to buy 'free trade' goods from other conquered civilizations by the grand English corporation and pay their tax is a big reason why this country was born Anti-Corporation, Anti-Monetarist, Anti-Imperialist, and Anti-Free trade.

Free trade and globalization is just imperialism under another name.  Like George Carlin mentioned, they keep changing the word.  From Shellshocked, battle fatigued, something else, and PTSD.  It's all the same thing.  Just it makes people think, 'it's new'.  Well globalization is EXACTLY THAT.  New name, same bogus ideology.

The Greeks are horribly suffering.  The vast majority of their pharmacies are closed.  I don't see how the pro-banksters bailout forces win the election without fraud.

Glass-Steagall

 

 

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:07 | 2528720 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Amazing that the trokia got kept 100% whole, the bankers kept their bonuses, and the average citizen in Greece can't get their medication.

World is sooo fucked.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:07 | 2528721 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

What you need cancer medication? Sorry, the money earmarked for that is required by our bankster overlords. Haven't you heard, the entire world will collapse if we don't save them. Just consider yourself a sacrifice for the greater good and Jamie's yacht

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:57 | 2528831 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

More like a life is expendable for one gallon of diesel in faggot-Dimons third yacht.

Remember, record bonuses for fraud was the first payment from TARP.

FUCK THE POOR, THEY EARNED IT!!,

Faggots in pinstripes will soon be THE menu. Bloodshed and wrecked lives can't come to the 1% banking crotch-rot soon enough.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 09:44 | 2529024 fajensen
fajensen's picture

Yes, there is sacrifice: Die a miserable death from untreated cancer in a pool of your own piss - or - shoot up that yach of Jamie's with a belt-fed automatic weapon, making a lasting expression on the way out.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:08 | 2528723 caimen garou
caimen garou's picture

we are getting an inside look at what can happen here,what a shame!

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:12 | 2528733 RECISION
RECISION's picture

Like we couldn't see this coming 4 years ago...

The proletariat always pay with their lives.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:09 | 2528726 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Has Herman Von Rompoy taken a salary reduction? His performance evaluation was quite poor as delivered by Mr. Farage

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:10 | 2528728 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Not much better in the US for a lot of people. No job = no insurance for most. Cobra only lasts so long and is expensive as hell.

Fuck politicians, bankers etc. Imagine how much better things could have been without all the bailouts. Save bankers at all costs. Even if it means death to everyone else.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:26 | 2528754 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

"Not much better in the US for a lot of people."

 

Half of Americans cannot afford prescribed medications By Tom Eley 
28 September 2011

A new study by Consumer Reports has documented a dramatic increase in the number of Americans forgoing needed medications and health care for financial reasons.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center found that over the last year nearly half of all Americans (49 percent) who were prescribed medication and other health procedures reported holding back for financial reasons, up from 39 percent a year earlier.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/sep2011/medi-s28.shtml

 

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 11:19 | 2529399 Thisson
Thisson's picture

That's what happens when you idiotically demand free healthcare as a right - there is no such thing as a free lunch, after all.  Medical care would be much more affordable if we simply required that everything be paid for in cash, by the patient.  All of this insurance and costshifting stuff just drives up prices.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:15 | 2528737 Archduke
Archduke's picture

also CalculatedRisk reports Elenic unemployment just hit a whopping 22.6%

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/06/greece-election-results-expect...

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:16 | 2528741 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

"The European Union and International Monetary Fund, which provided a 130 billion euro lifeline to Greece in March"

 

Ahhh, good old Reuters, perpetuating the propaganda at their masters' bidding. That E130bn went straight to the banks, not to Greece. In no way on this earth could this be described as a "lifeline". However, we should never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:18 | 2528742 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

"The European Union and International Monetary Fund, which provided a 130 billion euro lifeline to Greece in March"

 

Ahhh, good old Reuters, perpetuating the propaganda at their masters' bidding. That E130bn went straight to the banks, not to Greece. In no way on this earth could this be described as a "lifeline". However, we should never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

 

Honest, guv. I never touched that button a second time.....

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:17 | 2528743 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Use these cancer patients as foot soldiers to burn the banks, the IMF offices and the EU offices down... they have nothing to lose, literally.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:28 | 2528753 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

Sheeple usually takes the 1% chance of hope.

Thats why they play lottery.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:26 | 2528755 BandGap
BandGap's picture

This situation isn't new by any means. I work in the pharma industry, it has been known for at least three years that Greece couldn't pay its bills. A few years back they paid pharmaceutical companies in BONDS, the pharma houses were getting 0.60-0.80 on the dollar. It's been well over a year since non-esential drugs have been in shrt supply in Greece. They simply cannot afford to give the drugs away.

Keep in mind that the Greek government, that can't collect taxes worth a shit, was managing this flaming turd. My understanding is that they RELIED on the pity factor years ago, instead of working with companies to get them any sort of payment for these drugs. The fucking Greek people don't pay taxes, and those that do get fucking kicked in the testicles.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:32 | 2528769 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

The fucking Greek people don't pay taxes, and those that do get fucking kicked in the testicles.

From what I know, the taxes are hardly enough to pay interest on the Sovereign debts in any given country, so lets not make this a "did you pay your taxes" issue.

Leave it for Lagarde to bitch about while carrying her LV bag.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 09:06 | 2528857 CommunityStandard
CommunityStandard's picture

True, not paying taxes isn't the problem.  But it is a symptom of their culture of entitlement.  I'd like to not pay taxes, but I'd also not expect handouts.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:37 | 2528757 Mercury
Mercury's picture

They are depriving of you of life, Persefoni, because in old times, when a given country was enslaved, there was a specific aggressor that the people could revolt against. Now, when the slave-master is debt, and thus one's own desire to live beyond their means, it is far more difficult to look in the mirror and to revolt against what one sees. 

This might also be a good time to recognize what happens to something under stress which is also "free" and run by the government. 

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:30 | 2528760 CommunityStandard
CommunityStandard's picture

"it is far more difficult to look in the mirror and to revolt against what one sees."

Great quote, great article.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:30 | 2528761 youngman
youngman's picture

 "relies heavily on patented rather than cheaper generic drugs".......WHY?  There is probably some government rule

"a petite former marathon runner"........I guess this was her job......

"and unions have resisted fiercely".......lol...always....

"whose managers have sometimes been appointed as supporters of whichever political party was in power at the time"......this works....management by payback...a friend of a friend..wink wink...

 

I just cut these out as the People dont even get what the problem is....they see a shortage of paper...but they do not see how it got to a shortage of paper.....lol...maybe when they are starving and the see the manager stuffing his face with the USAid food..while they are starving...they will see the problem....Socialism works for the people in charge...

 

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 12:32 | 2529660 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"they see a shortage of paper"

as the USSR joke goes, a shortage of other people's paper, but that's the only mentality they've ever known

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:31 | 2528762 jannewmx
jannewmx's picture

But...Lagarde told us that we should feel more sympathy for Nigerian kids than Greeks squeezed by austerity...

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:43 | 2528783 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

I'd put Americans living in tents and cars ahead of all of them by a factor of 1000.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:42 | 2528779 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

"While by now virtually everyone around the world is intimately familiar with the nuances of Greek electoral law, knows the names of Greek politicians better than of those at home" Actually, I couldn't and care little for all these turd-world nations. Are the Brits still adopting neglected Greek donkeys, or have they had their fill?

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:45 | 2528791 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

So it is the Greek people who are at fault and have created this problem?  With the same debt problem confronting Ireland, Spain, Italy, France and the U.S. logic dictates that we must also conclude that the Irish, Spanish, Italian, French and US People are all likewise the ones who created the debt problems in their countries.

Thank Heavens we have Chairman Bernanke and the High Cabal of Central Bankers to sort this out and save us all.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 11:22 | 2529415 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Yes, actually, the Greek people are partly to blame because they have acquised to kleptocratic rule and voted for politicians who make unpayable promises in exchange for votes.  How do you think these Greeks got to retire at age 50 to begin with?

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:56 | 2528824 dcb
dcb's picture

Nope, people have to die because the greek bailouts really go to foreign banks and not the people. these greek bailouts should be called bank bailouts if the press were accurate. the stories like this make me say that the greek government that just paid those bondholders in full should be tried for treason and held accountable for the deaths they cause.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:57 | 2528833 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

If nobody paid their goddamn taxes, the banksters would finally implode.

We should be all Greek.

Paying taxes = paying for your enslavement.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 09:05 | 2528849 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

It is true that paying taxes is effectively enslavement.

And it is unquestionably a tool used to keep the muppets in their place.

but remember that the Central Planners have a printing press and an infinite supply of digital zeroes.  They could operate quite effectively without tax revenues, if they so desired.  Its just more fun to mash your jackboot into the muppets faces, so taxes are not likely to go away.

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