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Greece is exhibit A.

Greek hospitals are in such dire straits that staff are failing to keep up basic disease controls such as using gloves and gowns, threatening a rise in multi-drug-resistant infections, according to Europe's top health official.

. . . .

With fewer doctors and nurses to look after more patients, and hospitals running low on cash for supplies, risks are being taken even with basic hygiene, said Marc Sprenger, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

"I have seen places...where the financial situation did not allow even for basic requirements like gloves, gowns and alcohol wipes," Sprenger said after a two-day trip to Athens, where he visited hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Greece spends 11 billion euros ($14.4 billion) a year on its healthcare system - accounting for just over 5 percent of its total economic output. The government says the system is around 2 billion euros in debt and spending must be cut drastically.

Many health workers have lost their jobs and others say they have not been properly paid for months. A banner hung up by doctors outside Athens Evangelismos hospital in October said simply: "The health system is bleeding".

Exhausted doctors at Greece's 133 state hospitals cite a lack of staff as well as basic supplies such as cotton wool, catheters, gloves and paper used to cover examination beds.

Panos Papanicolaou, a member of a doctors' union and a neurosurgeon at Athens' Nikea General Hospital, said staff cuts mean as many as 90 to 100 patients a day wait in corridors with many unable to

. . . .

Greece could soon face even more problems with its health care system if it runs out of money to buy drugs.

Another health official who asked to remain anonymous said a senior Athens hospital worker had told him there was no budget left for supplies at that hospital, so all its drug purchases were on credit.

Germany's Merck KGaA said last month it was no longer delivering its cancer drug Erbitux to Greek hospitals , and Biotest, which makes products from blood plasma to treat haemophilia and tetanus, stopped shipments in June because of unpaid bills.

Greece is literally killing itself to satisfy the demands of the EU, EB and IMF.  And to stay in the euro, where it never belonged in the first place.  It would be far better off defaulting, leaving the euro and bringing back the drachma.  In the meantime, people will die and disease will spread, all to statisfy the bankers and Germany.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the example, Paleo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, cynndara

    I'd call for everyone to write their Senators and Representatives, but I can't believe we learn anything here on Daily Kos they don't either already know or learn on the same day we do. Yet, for the sake of the almighty dollar, the "conservative" side of our public servants are willing to see our economy crumble and Americans die as a result.

    Sorry, I'm feeling so cynical this morning I should probably just go back to bed.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:27:19 AM PST

  •  What's happening in Greece is a total nightmare. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, terabytes

    I saw an evening news show here in Italy about a month ago that did a short documentary on life in Athens right now.  Most shop doors closed and barred.  Drug use and prostitution on the rise.  And, worse of all, squads of men who belong to the Golden Dawn/Nazi party going around and harassing immigrants.  When I say "harassing", I mean destroying their property and often injuring them.  

    Even here in Europe, Greece has been swept under the rug, left to fend for themselves.  Granted, they re-elected the same cabal that helped get them into their abysmal economic situation.  But given the obsession here with EU standards, it's astounding that not more attention is paid to the plight of average Greeks.

  •  Excellent recap of the Greek's plight. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terabytes, SilentBrook, BlackSheep1

    This is a perfect example of the pain that David Gregory talks about and praises every Sunday.

    And I'd love to see any politician in the US defend austerity.

    Austerity is deadly. And it's a terrible idea for any country to do during a recession/depression.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:59:41 AM PST

  •  That Germany would stand by and allow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this to happen is disgusting.

    They still owe Greece quite a debt for what happened in WW2, in my view.

    And we owe a bit for allowing our vulture capitalists to go over there and cause trouble.

    We can all argue about the Euro, but without a fully integrated subsidy system that is set up for the long haul, these southern countries will boom and bust horrifically with no safety net.  

  •  Has our culture infected others with the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    undeserving poor belief system?

    This just makes me sick.

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