Sunday 10 June 2012
Greek debt crisis: chronic drug shortage risking lives of the sick. Coming here soon ?
"In the Greece of today, a country gripped by economic collapse and paralysed by political uncertainty, more and more users of expensive medicines are finding a healthcare system that had problems even before the eurozone crisis hit is close to disaster. Medicine shortages, reported by Greek health workers and patients for months, show signs of worsening as pharmaceutical companies become increasingly reluctant to deliver drugs on credit to a state whose debts to them are predicted to top €1.5bn by the end of this month. Public hospitals, which have had budgets cut by 40% over the past two years of austerity, do not have the money to stock all the drugs they are expected to, and struggle to pay suppliers – even as demand for their services increases.
"Iain Duncan Smith and senior Liberal Democrat ministers including Nick Clegg have called for the better-off not to receive universal benefits, which include free bus passes and prescriptions.
In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, Saga, Age UK and the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) warn that such a move would be unfair and likely to leave those most in need worse-off.
Ministers have not specified the income level above which pensionerswould be blocked from receiving such benefits, but campaigners fear it could be as low as £132.60 a week – the threshold at which the pension credit takes effect.
This could mean that as many as nine million people would lose universal benefits, which include a £10 bonus at Christmas and free eye tests"
Have a nice day !