The access of the uninsured to the National health system during the financial crisis and the contribution of the community clinics in their primary care

Anastasia Katsikogianni

The current thesis, through the review of secondary sources, attempts to depict the difficulties uninsured citizens faced to their access in the Greek National Health System (NHS) during the financial crisis. It also examines the role community clinics played in providing primary care services to the uninsured. The Greek state, in the context of the memorandum commitments, amid numerous changes in the public and private sector, proceeded to structural and managerial reforms in the NHS. More specifically, the memorandum imposed significant cuts in the budget of hospitals and healthcare in general. As a consequence of the aforementioned, the waiting times for public health services increased significantly; respectively, the access to health care services was proportionally dependent on the socio-economic status of citizens. These conditions marked the establishment of community clinics and pharmacies which, as a result of the aforementioned, became part of the Greek reality by offering medical care. The way NHS was formed, the enlarged private sector, along with the enfeeblement of welfare state during the crisis, intensified the inequalities by circumventing the social nature of health which, until then, was considered constitutional right for all citizens. The specific perspective is at the core of the current thesis. Subsequently, the thesis examined the consequences the financial crisis had on the access of the uninsured and the role of  Social Clinics and Pharmacies (KIFA) in their medical care. In retrospect, the pre-existing problematic conditions of the NHS along with the implementation of austerity policies and the enfeeblement of welfare state, had grave repercussions to numerous people who were banned from health services. On the other hand, KIFA contributed significantly to the relief of many uninsured people by offering them access to primary care services.

Keywords: financial crisis, health systems, vulnerable groups, uninsured, access to health services.

Academic Year
2019 - 2020