Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How to Drive Out Physicians (or ?)

You may or may not rememer than in early October I wrote a post about how a major newspaper here in Greece announced that now the state would target doctors and lawyers, to drive them out of business.

Well, Demetrios had a long talk with a doctor and now we've found out one way it's done. New laws have been passed, so now the national healthcare system is only paying doctors 7 Euros for each patient visit. Furthermore, each doctor is limited to 200 patients per month. (That's 2 per hour if you work a five-hour day.) That means a doctor's monthly income is now 1,400 Euros, max, or about $2,000. Out of that, s/he has to pay for the office: rent, out-of-sight taxes, out-of-sight insurance, water, electricity, telephone -- and presumably a receptionist's salary.  (I'm assuming, without knowing, that nurses get paid separately by the system, not by the doctor.)

Hospital physicians make a smidgeon more.

You can also work night up to 5 nights call and thereby earn a total of up to 300 Euros more, per month.

Altogether then, we're talking annual income of $25,000 to $30,000 - minus overhead

Of course this arrangement also presents the physicians the golden opportunity that arises from having nothing to lose. Until the new laws were passed, most of them were making good money, sometimes even excessive money, so most of them probably have reasonably deep pockets. This implies that should they collectively decide to try to save Greece, all they'd have to do (hopefully together with the nurses) is tell the government something like, "As of next Monday, we quit (except for true emergencies) and we will not come back until you ______________" fill in the blank with some demand(s) beneficial to the entire public so they will back the strike.

It ought not to take long, I should think. All it should take is a bit of pluck, aka courage.


Matushka Anna said...

Lord have mercy! That is dreadful. I remember when Pennsylvania nearly lost all of its cardiac surgeons for the reason that the malpractice insurance went up to $50,000/year.