Skip to comments.Health System Reflects Greece's Ills
Posted on 11/11/2011 7:54:24 PM PST by Steelfish
NOVEMBER 12, 2011 Health System Reflects Greece's Ills
BY CHARLES FORELLE
ATHENSA few years ago, George Gianakouras, a retired salesman of hotel supplies from the Greek port town of Volos, was feeling sluggish. His doctors diagnosed heart disease. He was given cardiac drugs and scheduled for angioplasty and stenting at a hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece's second city.
Like nearly all Greeks, Mr. Gianakouras was covered by a state social-security fund, which paid 10,000 ($13,600) for the hospital bill. There was one more thing: Mr. Gianakouras said he gave his surgeon "black money"5,000 in cashto perform the operation.
"If you don't pay," he said, "you don't get anything done."
Greece's constitution obliges ...
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Looks like this would be an interesting article.
I wish more were excerpted, one has to subscribe to WSJ
Stick the first line in google. It will take you directly to the article.
Greece's constitution obliges the state to provide health care to citizens. By and large, it does. But the system is a mess. It is stuffed with debt, plagued with corruption such as the bribes Mr. Gianakouras said he paid, and hobbled by inefficiency and inequity.
Just what Obama & Co.* have planned for America.
In Greece, these bribes are apparently somewhat tolerated by the government. This would be something like a sliding co-pay and depend on the market value of the surgeon’s services. In the US, I seriously doubt that any hybrid system like this would emerge. Do something like this on a Medicare or Medicaid patient and the doctor would be in jail. The patient has a financial incentive to report this to the government by filing a ‘qui tam’ whistleblower claim. A private ‘bounty hunter’ investigation company can also score by investigating any and all other violations which would entitle them to some of the spoils.
The only way a physician could treat a government patient for cash is for
that physician to have completely dropped out of that government program. This is happening with primary care docs, but for obvious reasons this is impractical for the surgical specialist. For surgeons, they must do their case in a private, non government facility that does not take the government insurance in question which usually means that the surgeon (or group) would need to actually own their facility.
So unlike Greece, in the ‘land of the not so free’ anymore, the patient
would have to bear the total cost at a private facility or wait for some incompetent surgeon to do the operation at the government approved rate. This is why offshore clinics will thrive if obamacare is not eradicated.
At least in Greece, it does appear possible that a patient can spend more to get a good surgeon without forfeiting all of their government insurance benefits.