Monday, November 12, 2007

The Physician Executive: Envelopes and the Greek Medical Business

The Physician Executive: Envelopes and the Greek Medical Business: "[Informal payments] are especially prominent in the case of in-patient care, and are made to doctors, mainly surgeons, in public but also in private hospitals. These payments are also made in the case of outpatient care. The rationale is to jump the queue or to secure better quality services and greater personal attention by the doctor. Unofficial payments are considered to be a major problem in the Greek health care system. It is estimated that about half the total private expenditure on health care involves informal payments. There is no really reliable estimate of the size of the unofficial market, partly because it is so widespread, and partly because of the complexity of the Greek health care system. Almost 60% of total out-of-pocket payments (official and unofficial) are made to doctors and dentists, 20% go toward pharmaceuticals, with the rest being mainly expenditures on private diagnostic centres and private clinics. Out-of-pocket payments (both official and unofficial) represent roughly 6% of household income (1990 figures)."

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