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Travesty.

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  • #26721
    Binx
        • Topics: 117
        • Replies: 697
        • Total: 814
        • Practcally Cretan
        • ★★★★★★
        Member since: 7th March 2010

        Today we visited our local village doctor. We have grown fond of her over the years we have been here, and she has expressed her fondness for us as well as we give her a good laugh and discuss world events etc.

        She has often told us she loves the Brit humour, even in dire circumstances the Brits make sure they have a laugh and look for the brighter side of life she would say.

        The Government has messed the doctors working for IKA up so badly, that many are leaving IKA.

        I mentioned to our doctor today that she looks tired and withdrawn and looks ill. We never realise that our doctors get ill as well at times, but I always make a point of asking how they are out of curtasy and manners.

        She said reluctantly , " I was not going to tell you this as I knew you would be upset, this is my last week here and I am leaving . I love my job, it is my passion and I love what I do but the stupid rules and low pay is making me ill".

        A dedicated doctor to her profession, one who genuinely cares and goes the full length to research your problem, makes sure you get the best medical attention, ask`s questions and takes time to examine you , and is a very compassionate and caring thoughrough doctor , will now be a great loss to the community.

        Does IKA care …. Nooooooooooooo.

        The three of us wept and hugged in the doctors surgery today, we were shocked she had to make the decision to leave and she was heartbroken telling us.

        Very rare you get a rapport with a doctor who is sincere and genuine, the salt of the earth and caring.

        We are both in total shock , but she looked really ill, tired and despairing as she explained she loved the village, the people and her job, but her employers are killing her soul.

        Support your village doctor , they get a hard time of it here with IKA and their stupid rules.

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        BullionVault

        #27100
        Ever Hopeful
            • Topics: 22
            • Replies: 53
            • Total: 75
            • BIC Old Hand
            • ★★★★
            Member since: 10th October 2009

            Well done Binx for posting this.

            If we cannot obtain health care as expected many will face increasing bills for essential care & medications, many with chronic ill health will not be able to afford to pay. Some may be forced to return to the UK or have to put their lives at risk.

            Our IKA family GP has had no contract since March & is assisting those seriously ill for free, he says the state is downgrading IKA care forcing people to pay. Many medications have been withdrawn from IKA forcing patients to buy them at full cost.

            The new IKA rules on hospital care are proving life threatening to Greeks & all of us for example: A cancer drug costing €2,500 per IV can still be given to IKA patients in out patient clinics but now the nurses cannot take vital blood tests required to ensure the patients are not being put at risk of death by the drug itself (liver failure & sepsis).

            This means a sick patient advised to avoid public places & infections must now wait to see their local IKA doctor to obtain a blood test form, go back for the blood test, go back again for the results then travel to Iraklio for the drip. If you have OGA or TEVE no problem you get the blood test on the day of the IV!

            We should get vocal, we should do all we can to keep the IKA system in place for us & our Greek neighbours. We have given medical equipment to help our local clinic perhaps those who are involved with "voting" could ask Helen & her group to put this vital issue on the agenda?

            #27360
            eleni
                • Topics: 57
                • Replies: 554
                • Total: 611
                • Practcally Cretan
                • ★★★★★★
                Member since: 12th November 2005

                The support of the health services are high on our list of priorities. The local health centres come under the council as of January 1st.
                The Ika system is under a deal of strain – and will be even more so as some of the current people who come under teve and oga will soon also come under the same system.
                We have pledged ( and I can only speak for Apokoronas and the group I am involved with) the support and better functioning of the health centre of Apokoronas,at Vamos and also improving the regional clinics, so that they can provide better care. As far as national policies are concerned we can only lobby with all of you for help for the medical services.
                I can only say, Use your vote – wherever you live and whoever you vote for as that way we will all have a voice, along with the greek population to improve the system from the ground up. These problems affect the Greek population not only the ex pats, for example not only have they stopped most blood testing at the health centre and paediatric services have been seriously curtailed they have also withdrawn Pap tests and the clinic that took such a long time setting up. How many village women will make appointments for this test in Hania or Rethymnon?

                #27554
                Ever Hopeful
                    • Topics: 22
                    • Replies: 53
                    • Total: 75
                    • BIC Old Hand
                    • ★★★★
                    Member since: 10th October 2009

                    That’s good to hear Eleni

                    We must all appreciate the stress & restrictions health centres are under but we have ceased using one in particular due to an ever increasing disinterest & disregard for patient safety & care. As an immigrant not knowing how to complain or who to go to does not assist in changing behaviour your group sounds as if it may help with that.

                    Could you explain or guide us to where to find the info as to why some in OGA & TEVE are being made to use IKA? We were told OGA gives better access to health care benefits (medications available etc) has this recently changed?

                    #27705
                    Topdriller
                        • Topics: 76
                        • Replies: 1435
                        • Total: 1511
                        • Practcally Cretan
                        • ★★★★★★
                        Member since: 3rd March 2007

                        The average GP’s salary in the UK is around £70,000 per annum. 

                        http://www.mysalary.co.uk/average-salary/Gp_1231

                        Very few GPs do after hours work and even less do home visits.

                        Four years ago this month ago I was bed ridden with a back problem and had to call out a Chania based orthopedic surgeon.  It was a weekend, a storm was blowing but yet he drove the 15 kilometres to my house, gave me a full check over and then administered some anti inflammatory injections and told me to call if I needed anything else.  The charge was £50 for his time and the medication dispensed.  I don’t contribute to IKA and am not a pensioner yet the Greek equivalent to a NHS consultant had left his family on a weekend, driven into the hinterland and given me a one on one consultation at my request.  I can’t see that happening back in the UK and certainly not for £50.

                        We have a Brit friend across here who has been fighting cancer for the past two years.  He has contributed nothing to IKA but because he’s a pensioner the treatment received has been "free."  He was operated on in Athens, has had two different courses of chemo (which is very expensive whether here or in the UK) and in the meantime two of his friends, ironically both diagnosed with the same type of cancer, have died back in England.  Draw your own conclusions.

                        The Greek system could obviously be better – any system can be better by definition – but it’s doubtful (however well meaning) that a handful of Brits on Crete can change that system. 

                        Surely, when considering a full time move to Crete, people must look carefully at the pros and cons of coming here?  Since most people are in the twilight years of their life investigating the health care system before they move should be top of their to do list.

                        I personally feel the universal health care system here has many plus points and whilst it may not be perfect it’s certainly no worse than what’s on offer in the UK.

                        Jon

                        #27825
                        eleni
                            • Topics: 57
                            • Replies: 554
                            • Total: 611
                            • Practcally Cretan
                            • ★★★★★★
                            Member since: 12th November 2005

                            Anyone who happened to catch the morning news programme on Skai tv will have seen an interview with 3 people ( one each for each "party" standing in the elections in Apokoronas – of which I was one) It was obvious that the health system locally was high on the agenda of all the parties.

                            #27920
                            Ever Hopeful
                                • Topics: 22
                                • Replies: 53
                                • Total: 75
                                • BIC Old Hand
                                • ★★★★
                                Member since: 10th October 2009

                                Jon, I agree re the the Greek system being a lot more generous & private care more affordable than the UK, our Greek doctor goes above & beyond the call of duty. The UK refuse life saving medication on cost that Greek doctors prescribe here with no hesitation, but it is unfair to assume people do not "do their homework".

                                The goal posts have changed dramatically this year for those who did did their research & checked out health care  before moving here.

                                I hope your friend recovers well as you know cancer patients receive all medication/care for free irrespective of status which is truly humane, the problem arises when cancer drugs are used for other diseases.

                                Since the IKA changes pharmaceutical bills each month have doubled for some & the medication & tests available on IKA have been severely restricted. No one could have foreseen that coming, I know of many Greeks & ex pats struggling to now afford routine prescriptions or medical treatment for life threatening diseases.

                                I do agree with you Jon that we as ex pats can probably do little to change anything, I for one out of respect will not get involved in another country`s politics until I can understand the language (that includes the TV!) & form my own opinions.

                                #27990
                                latsida
                                Participant
                                    • Topics: 165
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                                    • Practcally Cretan
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                                    Member since: 17th October 2006

                                    Hi Ever Hopeful,
                                    can you clarify the IKA changes ,which medications and tests have been restricted, and the increase in bills please.

                                    #28050
                                    Ever Hopeful
                                        • Topics: 22
                                        • Replies: 53
                                        • Total: 75
                                        • BIC Old Hand
                                        • ★★★★
                                        Member since: 10th October 2009

                                        Latsida we can only speak from personnel experience as it has affected us & others we know, perhaps Eleni could quote official figures?

                                        We have sent you a personnel message regarding changes we have experienced this year to date.

                                        #28096
                                        Binx
                                            • Topics: 117
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                                            • Total: 814
                                            • Practcally Cretan
                                            • ★★★★★★
                                            Member since: 7th March 2010

                                            I have to say, the health care system here is far more thourough than the UK.

                                            Speaking from personal experience, when my relative was admitted to hospital two years ago with breathing difficulties, he was given every test there was , administered with top of the range drugs, fed good food that was nourishing and on asking questions as to his health was told exactly what was wrong.

                                            We did not know about any location of hospitals at the time, and the nearest to us was the Creta medical centre in Heraklion.

                                            After five days there we paid nearly a thousand euro`s even though we had an IKA book, but it was well worth it with all the CAT scans, X-rays and all treatments as the relative is better than he has ever been in his life, ( asthmatic).

                                            Our village doctor told us she was going to go private, as IKA have done the dirty on all doctors and the Government have done the same, she wouldn`t go in to details as she was very heartbroken.

                                            If and when our doctor does go private, we are considering going private with her practice as well.

                                            Does anyone remember many years ago, during the 50`s– 60`s and up to the early 70`s…. we all had the local small village doctors ?

                                            The old midwives that were well endowed with large backsides and bossoms, rode a bicycle with their bag, delivering babies and warming their large posteriers by the fire, job done, cup of hot Horlicks or cocoa or tea with a nip of the hard stuff.

                                            Local doctors that were dedicated to their work, they cared, they came out in all hours , all weathers and made sure all was well.

                                            The village here with our beloved doctor reminded me of home in the 60`s, caring , compassionate and dedication and the love of a job that they studied for to make sure all was well in the world.

                                            We all need our village doctors, there are many infirm villagers here , no transport and no relatives to take them anywhere.

                                            A taxi costs 70 euro`s to the nearest hospital, how the hell can a natural born villager of pensionable age and infirm afford the fare ?

                                            The villagers whom I have grown to adore and have an affinity with, they all need a local doctor, they deserve it as they have worked too hard and too long for pittance money to survive.

                                            I feel so damn compassionate towards my village, I want to help, I want to fight , I want to do anything to help and I want our beloved doctor to stay, and I do not want traditions to change here .

                                            I have asked other ex pats , should we do something , protest with banners, all come together and pay a certain amount to a fund to employ the doctor, anything …? Only to be told , " politics, do nothing".

                                            As the heading to my post said ….. " Travesty".

                                            #28134
                                            Topdriller
                                                • Topics: 76
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                                                • Total: 1511
                                                • Practcally Cretan
                                                • ★★★★★★
                                                Member since: 3rd March 2007

                                                It’s my experience that family rallies around here on Crete far more than say the UK i.e. the old woman in the village will probably have ten nephews and nieces willing to drive her when the need arises.  It’s usually only the out of the way in-comers who need the 70 euros taxis.

                                                The soaring cost of medical technology means it’s impossible, never mind uneconomic, to provide the old village services.  The village doctor here and indeed back in the UK is the "gate-keeper" i.e. the person who decides if you need a course of antibiotics or a meeting with a specialist and a MRI scan.

                                                No matter where you live i.e. the back of beyond or the centre of Heraklion you’ll still have to get to the medical centre to have your tests, see the specialist etc.  What worked in the sixties – whilst it may seem nostalgic – is not going to work today.  Our own expectations are higher, our knowledge of how the system works is higher than back then.

                                                The fact that one particular doctor is leaving IKA and moving into private practice could also have other connotations i.e. private practice is usually better paid, just like it is in the UK!  .

                                                Jon

                                                #28166
                                                latsida
                                                Participant
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                                                    • Practcally Cretan
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                                                    Member since: 17th October 2006

                                                    Binx,
                                                    I think unfounded nostalgia is clouding your vision.
                                                    I had both my children at home in the sixties, and neither midwife was as you described.
                                                    many IKA doctors have their own private practice as well, also there has been much criticism of their practice of accepting money for treatment in Hospitals (see the link below),and many have not been declaring their true income.
                                                    we visited Heraklio Venizilos Hospital last week
                                                    we attended the eye clinic there,my partner had his examination and we have to go back in about two months for the operation.
                                                    the clinic was "well attended" and most of the elderly Cretans there were with their younger family as Topdriler says  everyone rallies round.
                                                    The Government is trying to sort of the financial problems of the country,maybe your village doctor just wants to move on.
                                                    http://old.certh.gr/libfiles/MOBILITY-PORTAL/MON-456-SAITAKIS-sec-8-health-system-in-greece-pp60-61.pdf
                                                    and this
                                                    http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_2_25/09/2010_119997

                                                    #28190
                                                    x5kmt
                                                    Participant
                                                        • Topics: 29
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                                                        • Practcally Cretan
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                                                        Member since: 12th November 2005

                                                        35383B2436343F570 wrote: The old midwives that were well endowed with large backsides and bosoms, rode a bicycle with their bag, delivering babies and warming their large posteriors by the fire, job done, cup of hot Horlicks or cocoa or tea with a nip of the hard stuff.

                                                        On that same subject I can recommend the books written by Jennifer Worth, ‘Call the Midwife’, ‘Shadows of the workhouse’, and the final in her series, ‘Farewell to the East End’.

                                                        Reminders of by gone days, the 1950’s, and quite gritty in parts but generally, a good read.

                                                        Kathleen

                                                        #28211
                                                        Binx
                                                            • Topics: 117
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                                                            • Practcally Cretan
                                                            • ★★★★★★
                                                            Member since: 7th March 2010

                                                            I asked our doctor " What will you do , how will you live after leaving your job here?"

                                                            She said with great sadness… " I do not know, all I know is I cannot stay with IKA they mess us about now, I do not want to go private as the hours are too long and prefer to be village doctor, but everyone has to accept change, we must all accept change".

                                                            I gathered she has no job in line as she mentioned she will have to look around for work.

                                                            #28230
                                                            latsida
                                                            Participant
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                                                                • Practcally Cretan
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                                                                Member since: 17th October 2006

                                                                Here is some better news concerning pharmaceutical drug prices
                                                                http://www.ihsglobalinsight.com/SDA/SDADetail19185.htm

                                                                #28247
                                                                Binx
                                                                    • Topics: 117
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                                                                    • Practcally Cretan
                                                                    • ★★★★★★
                                                                    Member since: 7th March 2010

                                                                    Very interesting web site Latsida.

                                                                    I was told at the pharmacy last week that you can`t get Aspirin on your IKA book anymore and you have to pay for it.

                                                                    We paid seven euros and twelve cents for eight packs yesterday.

                                                                    #28263
                                                                    Ever Hopeful
                                                                        • Topics: 22
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                                                                        • Total: 75
                                                                        • BIC Old Hand
                                                                        • ★★★★
                                                                        Member since: 10th October 2009

                                                                        Anti inflammatory gels for those unable to take tablets have now been withdrawn: Roiplon gel was 60c on IKA now over €6.

                                                                        To cut rising costs we now club together with friends to share postage for medication too expensive to buy here, we order via an online legitimate UK pharmacy.

                                                                        You need to be careful who you order from but it is possible to save a lot of money on some medications, prescriptions not usually required as your outside UK if it states one is required an email or telephone call usually sorts it out.

                                                                        #28275
                                                                        Elizabeth C
                                                                            • Topics: 15
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                                                                            • BIC Junior Member
                                                                            • ★★★
                                                                            Member since: 9th October 2010

                                                                            There has been and still is massive over-prescription of drugs and tests to everyone under the present system – all at great cost. This is why there has HAD to be some curbing of free prescriptions and doling out of medication by doctors (who earn a percentage..) and of course the pharmacists (who earn 30 %)…no wonder there are more chemists perhaps even than Chinese shops in Crete. It is a nation dedicated to preventative medicine in a big way. In my village the doctor is an OGA doctor, not an IKA doctor. Those village doctors I have known have merely been ‘doing their time’ to get experience and open up a highly lucrative private office. Considering the high unemployment here in Greece I find it unbelievable that your doctor should be leaving her job to become unemployed…unless she has other income? The village visits by the doctors are a highlight of many older people’s week (or month now) – nevertheless the medications prescribed to a lot of these pensioners are not checked against eachother and can amount to an awful lot of drugs for one little old lady. (This happens in the UK too I know). The doctor is judged good if he prescribes lots of medicine!!
                                                                            As Eleni has mentioned all three parties have health high on their agenda – what is different about her party’s proposals? I would like to hear something concrete…

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