Hospital care also relies heavily on the private sector, given the mismanagement of the NHS hospitals and their inability to adapt to the austerity modus operandi. Privately owned for-profit hospitals (“Clinics” per Greek Law) can be distinguished in two categories. Some of them are cutting-edge, capable of performing even the most demanding operations and providing tertiary care and require high co-payments by their patients. While smaller hospitals either provide boutique treatment services or are simply an alternative to the public hospitals. The latter are expected to become virtually extinct given the EOPYY budgetary constraints and their absolute dependence on it.
Demand for healthcare services is on the increase partially due to the ageing population (10The proportion of people 65 or older already exceeds 32 percent, and is expected to rise thus increasing the demand for treatment of age-related conditions adding costs on the overall health care budget.
Link: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.DPND.OL ) , partly due to induced demand and (for 2016) the large numbers of the refugees entering the country.
2016 is expected to be critical for NHS hospitals. The NHS hospital’s debt to suppliers exceeds 800 mill euros with over 400 mill Euros being carried over from pre year 2014. In addition the debt to suppliers of pharmaceuticals is estimated at 450 mill euros.
The restructuring and accountability of the public healthcare system in a prerequisite for the Bailout program and for the first time the Government legislated the creation of a database that will contain the key performance and cost metrics of the healthcare system and which will allow strategic decisions for the future.
Even though politically inconceivable for a left-wing Greek government, it seems that widespread Public Private Partnerships (PPP) programs and partial privatization of publicly run infrastructure to be unavoidable in the near future.