The Health Systems in Transition (HiT) series consists of country-based reviews that provide a detailed description of a health system and of reform and policy initiatives in progress or under development in a specific country. Each review is produced by country experts in collaboration with the Observatory's staff. In order to facilitate comparisons between countries, reviews are based on a template, which is revised periodically. The template provides detailed guidelines and specific questions, definitions and examples needed to compile a report.
HiTs seek to provide relevant information to support policy-makers and analysts in the development of health systems. In the context of pharmaceutical care, policy-makers repeatedly face the challenge of balancing patient access to effective medicines with affordability and rising costs. The main goal of this study is to illustrate direct and indirect strategies shaping pharmaceutical care in different European countries in a systematic, comparative manner and based on selected parameters. It is hoped that its results will guide the health policy discourse towards questions that are important to those covered in publicly financed (statutory) systems - and thus to actual and potential patients - particularly regarding quality of care.
The economic crisis has had a major impact on Greece's health system. While in the past, long-needed reforms stagnated, the country's Economic Adjustment Programme imposed by international lenders has acted as a catalyst to tackle an unprecedentedly large number of changes in the health sector since 2010.
These changes aimed to cut spending, reduce inefficiencies and improve monitoring within a very ambitious time frame, but not all have been successful. Squeezed to the limits, Greece's health system now needs longer-term strategic measures that can ensure a balance of resources, improve responsiveness, and deliver high-quality services equitably and in appropriate settings.
This analysis of the Greek health system reviews developments in its organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance.