Greece to end ban on health workers not vaccinated against Covid

health workers Hospitals in Greece see rise in younger admissions for COVID-19

Health Minister Thanos Plevris spoke about the return of unvaccinated health workers and the reactions caused by the Health Ministry's new bill.

According to the Mega TV, since Tuesday morning, doctors and workers of the National Health Service have carried out a symbolic occupation of the Ministry of Health, reacting to the bill promoted by the government, which, as they say, creates a two-tier system for doctors and patients.

What did Plevris say about the occupation of the health centres in the Ministry of Health

Plevris spoke on the "Society Hour Mega" show about the symbolic occupation and the reaction of the health workers.

"It's a group of people who came to protest the bill we're voting on Thursday. I came to the ministry today, I saw them downstairs," he said.

"Just to clarify something, because in Greece we have a strange sense of what public space means. Neither an entrance nor a ministry can be occupied (the public space). Every protest is respected, but there are people who want to work and are not obliged to accept occupations.

"We were in an agreement to de-escalate the process and leave. They say they will stay for a short time.

"Hospitals do not belong to trade unionists, they belong to all the people."

Health workers complain that the bill brought by the Ministry of Health essentially allows private doctors to enter public hospitals and perform medical procedures and vice versa.

The main provisions of the bill

For his part, Plevris explained to Mega the three main provisions of the bill. Specifically:

An average increase of 10% in the salaries of doctors, in particular for anesthetists in ICUs and those in TEPs, there is an allowance of up to 400 euros.

In the announcements, doctors are given the option of part-time employment.

Those who are on call and perform a certain number of medical procedures are given the opportunity to practice private work once a week. That is, they have not completely lost the possibility to work privately.

"What interests the citizen is to go to a hospital and find doctors. He won't ask them if he's a backup or a blocker. We cannot be blind, notices are issued and they are barren", he emphasised.

When will the unvaccinated health workers return?

As the Minister of Health pointed out to Mega, unvaccinated health workers will return to work from January 1, 2023, according to what was decided by the Council of Ministers.

"Based on the decision of the SC, which reviewed the measure, it decided that the extension of the measure exceeds the principle of proportionality," the minister said.

"We have already taken the decision to see how the decision will be implemented," he continued, adding: "It will be implemented, even though I think it is a dangerous decision for public health."

"The measure will be implemented after we have taken all the measures so that there is a strict protocol for the protection of public health," Plevris concluded.

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