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Arch Hellen Med, 33(4), July-August 2016, 542-549


Reorganization of oncological care in Greece: A proposal

C. Emmanouilides
Interbalkan Medical Center, Thessaloniki, Greece

Oncological patients enjoy increasingly longer survival, mainly due to the introduction of innovative but costly therapeutic agents. In addition, the aging of the population in Greece is expected to increase the absolute incidence of cancer. The above two developments will strain the country's available health resources. The National Health System should adapt to the new challenges rapidly and efficiently. An overhaul of the organization of oncological care providers in Greece is long overdue. In order to realize cost savings, large scale operations must become the norm, with rational allocation of the available funds and efficient single payment facilities, so that affordable coverage remains feasible. Major changes are needed in the anchor oncology hospitals in order for them to play the role of regional leaders in oncological care, including the merging of similar divisions, subspecialization of services, promotion of clinical research and operational continuity of association with oncologists in lesser centers. In addition, joint operations in training and patient care should be pursued with major private centers, overcoming mutual mistrust and obsolete inflexibility. The current financial crisis represents an excellent opportunity for the revision and restructuring of oncological care in Greece, which should take into account societal needs and be based on flexibility and efficiency.

Key words: Health services, National Health System, Oncology.

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