March 15, 2012
Doctors from across Europe are gathering in Athens on Saturday for an emergency meeting amid fears that the Greek health system is going into meltdown. The hastily-arranged medical summit, called by the Medical Association of Athens, is due to discuss plans for a new European Medical Network through which doctors could support the ailing health service in Greece.
Doctors in Athens say grinding austerity has led to the closure of clinics, increases in infectious diseases, rising drug use, and a chronic shortage of medicines, risking dire long-term consequences for public health. There have been reports of Greek patients pleading with pharmacists for medicines as the pharmaceutical supply chain teeters on the brink of collapse.