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Beyond AusterityReforming the Greek Economy$
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Costas Meghir, Christopher A. Pissarides, Dimitri Vayanos, and Nikolaos Vettas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035835

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035835.001.0001

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Reforming Health Care in Greece: Balancing Fiscal Adjustment with Health Care Needs1

Reforming Health Care in Greece: Balancing Fiscal Adjustment with Health Care Needs1

(p.359) 9 Reforming Health Care in Greece: Balancing Fiscal Adjustment with Health Care Needs1
Beyond Austerity

Panos Kanavos

Kyriakos Souliotis

The MIT Press

The Greek health care system relies on expensive medical inputs to deliver basic health care services, and is characterized by a lack of primary care focus, which disallows care integration and coordination, particularly in chronic care management. Consequently, care delivery remains fragmented and disjointed and often results in access to care disparities. This chapter proposes three areas where structural reform is essential to address budgetary constraints, improve coverage, and deliver better quality of care. First, the health care financing and contracting model and reimbursement mechanisms need to be overhauled. Transitioning to a funding system through general taxation would be advantageous in increasing levels of coverage over the short- to medium-term, but needs to be accompanied by significant changes in the provision and contracting of services to improve efficiency and quality. Second, the role of primary health care needs to be strengthened so that it becomes the backbone of health service delivery. And, finally, pharmaceutical policy needs fundamental review, including a re-alignment of the different incentives on the supply and the demand side. These reforms require a mix of structural and tactical interventions by decision-makers.

Keywords:   health policy, health care reform, health care financing, primary health care, pharmaceutical policy

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