The economic crisis and the strict austerity bound to the Greek bailout agreement kills. They kill Greeks. The Bank of Greece may not write it in such a melodramatic way on its Monetary Policy Report 2015-2016. However, the conclusions in the chapter about “Reforms in health, economic crisis and impact on the health of population” are shocking and confirm what we have been hearing and reading around from relatives and friends in the last years: that the physical and mental health of Greeks has been deteriorating – partly due to economic insecurity, high unemployment, job insecurity, income decrease and constant exposure to stress. Partly also due to economic problems that have patients cut their treatment, partly due to the incredible cuts and shortages in the public health system.
The Report notes that “while it takes longer to record the exact effect, trends show a deterioration of the health of Greeks in the years of loan agreements and austerity cuts.”
The BoG states:
– Suicides increased. “The risk of suicidal behavior increases when there are so-called primary risk factors (psychiatric-medical conditions), while the secondary factors (economic situation) and tertiary factors (age, gender) affects the risk of suicide, but only if primary risk factors pre-exist.
– Increase of parts of population with mental illness, especially with depression. Increase: 3.,3% in 2008 to 6.8% in 2009, to 8.2% in 2011 and to 12.3% in 2013. In 2014, a 4.7% of the population above 15 years old declared it suffered form depression – that was 2.6% in 2009.
-Increase of chronic diseases increased by approximately 24%.
The BoG notes that “the large cuts in public expenditure have not been accompanied by changes and improvement of the health system in order to limit the consequences for the weakest citizens and vulnerable groups of the society.”
The report of the Governor of the...
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