SFEE Press Release on the occasion of New Year’s reception

Press Release

Ailing healthcare needs one medicine: reaching an understanding on a National Strategic Plan, within 2016,

Ensuring unhindered patient access to medicines


26.01.2016 – At the New Year’s reception, held yesterday at the Athens Concert Hall, the President of SFEE, Mr. Pascal Apostolides, expressed his hope that this year will finally mark a shift of focus on the part of government policymakers to the obvious changes needed for a truly viable and fair healthcare system, one that will not be in a continuous state of emergency.

The ceremony was honoured by the presence of political party representatives and members of Parliament, including Mr. Adonis Georgiadis, Vice-President of New Democracy, Ms Athena Dretta, spokesperson of Potami, Ms Evy Christophilipoulou, MP of the Democratic Coalition, who in their brief addresses pointed out the challenges faced by the Health Sector, in particular the pharmaceutical industry, and the need for government policies to be supportive both to patients and to pharmaceutical companies for a viable National Health System. The ceremony was also attended by Mr. Μichael Vlastarakos, President of the Panhellenic Medical Association, Mr. Nikos Platanisiotis, President of the Pireaus Medical Association, Mr. Konstantinos Lourantos, President of the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association, all of whom acknowledged that, despite the challenges posed by the economic crisis, pharmaceutical companies have been actively supporting Greek society in every possible way. A notable presence was also that of Ms Zoe Grammatoglou, Chair of the Athens Association of Cancer Patients (KEFI), invited by SFEE’s President to speak right after him.

Addressing the distinguished guests from the academia, media and patient organizations, Mr. Apostolides said that, for as long as a comprehensive national strategy for a modern and viable National Health System is lacking, the risk of serious dysfunctions at the detriment of patients will keep coming back.

“Exclusive policy focus on tax revenue measures that have stifled the industry only serves to further complicate a vicious circle, which has to break and has to break now! For this to happen, all of us must work together, in the service of patients’ rights”, Mr. Apostolides said characteristically.

He also emphasized that operational stability and uninterrupted funding of the National Health System and an effort to make the system more ethical by addressing artificial demand and corruption are key requirements for ensuring its viability and upgrading its quality. “A system that does not spend beyond its means and makes best use of the available resources is fully consistent with SFEE’s priorities, and we will be on the government’s side every step of the way”, he noted.

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