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Corfu private diagnostic centres closed again this week

protest
14 May 2024 / 10:54

CORFU. The protests of laboratory doctors are continuing due to the cuts resulting from the phased rebates and mandatory clawbacks. Microbiological tests are being conducted at the hospital and health centres. The radiology departments of diagnostic centres are operating normally.

Private microbiological laboratories in Corfu will remain closed until at least Friday, May 17th. The burden of serving those insured by EOPYY for the necessary tests falls on the already burdened Health Centres of the island and Corfu Hospital for the duration of the protests.

During the nationwide teleconference held last Friday (10/05), regional laboratory doctors decided to continue their protests, focussing on the significant cuts their businesses face due to the phased rebates and mandatory clawbacks when expenses for laboratory tests exceed the finalised EOPYY budget.

This is a memorandum measure that, after 12 years of implementation, has now brought the laboratories to their knees, threatening their sustainability. The President of Corfu Medical Association, Dimitris Kaloudis, told Enimerosi that EOPYY attributes the excesses of its finalised deficit budget to the laboratories, burdening them with these costs, while the prices of laboratory tests have been frozen for decades. In other words, EOPYY does not compensate for the additional prescribed tests that exceed the finalised budget, while on the other hand, laboratory doctors are obliged to perform them without being compensated for them.

The sector's protests, which began last Wednesday, May 8th, and are continuing this week, are supported by the Panhellenic Medical Association as well as by the local Medical Associations.

Four centres closed in Corfu

Warnings from Corfu Medical Association have been sounded repeatedly regarding the deadlock into which the laboratory doctors of our island have been plunged for years, but in vain . The President told Enimerosi that four diagnostic centres on the island have already been forced to close in recent years. 'We do not want the diagnostic centres to close," Mr. Kaloudis said. "Our economic survival is required to continue providing quality healthcare services to those insured."

He stated that participation at the local level is at 100%, as around 24 private microbiological laboratories in Corfu have suspended operations and will remain closed until at least Friday, 17/05, when the sector will reconsider its stance. An exception, however, is made for the radiology departments of diagnostic centres, which are operating normally.

Corfu Hospital and Health Centres

He said that those insured should go to either Corfu General Hospital or the Health Centres on the island for microbiological tests, noting that emergency cases are, in any case, always handled at the hospital.

However, according to administrative sources at the hospital, no unusual increases have currently been observed, and measures have been taken to provide additional appointments to ensure there is no problem in serving those insured. The same sources state that interested parties should schedule their appointment, with the waiting time being just one day, and the general recommendation is to contact the hospital only in case of urgent need. Nevertheless, there have been some isolated cases that were served without appointments.

Patients have also gone to the town's Health Centre for necessary microbiological tests, and they were served despite the already scheduled appointments.

Demands

At the forefront of the laboratory doctorss' demands is the establishment of an upper limit of 5% on clawback to their income and the signing of collective labour agreements with EOPYY. They also highlight the lack of effective control, by EOPYY, of the prescription of diagnostic tests, which, as they point out, leads to phenomena of unjustified over-prescription, ultimately burdening only the laboratories, as the budget is finalised and EOPYY does not pay anything from the resulting excess.

Automatic termination

Meanwhile, EOPYY has gone on the offensive, warning its contracted providers in a statement (09/05) of automatic termination of contracts in the event of refusal to provide services or execution of referrals to EOPYY beneficiaries, even excluding the possibility of entering into a new contract for a period of 18 months from the date the violation was detected.

MARIA BAZDRIYIANNI

PHOTO: iasysclinic.gr