Doctors group warns EU health care access shrinking

Access to health care is declining in Europe, and Greece in particular faces a humanitarian crisis as it cuts health and social spending, aid group Doctors of the World warned Thursday.

Even priority patients such as pregnant women and children are not getting the care they need in large European cities -- a problem that is linked to, but also larger than, the eurozone crisis, Olivier Bernard, head of the group's French chapter, told a press conference.

"The doesn't explain everything. On the contrary, it's precisely because of the crisis that we need to invest in social protections," Bernard said at an international meeting in Athens held "in solidarity" with Greece.

The head of the group's Greek chapter, Nikitas Kanakis, said the country was being driven toward a "humanitarian crisis" as the government desperately tries to cut spending to meet the terms of a bailout from the European Union and .

Kanakis warned the problem of worsening health care in Greece risked spreading to the rest of Europe as governments slash spending.

Nearly half of patients examined in 2011 in Doctors of the World's clinics in Nice, Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Munich had not received the level of care appropriate for their conditions, while 79 percent of had received no pre-natal care, the group said in a report.

Doctors of the World called for European governments to guarantee health care for every European citizen, stop deporting sick immigrants and implement policies to fight amid a resurgence of poverty-driven infections like tuberculosis.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

1,000 women a day die in childbirth, says MSF

Mar 08, 2012

About 1000 women die each day in childbirth or from preventable complications related to pregnancy, humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said Thursday.

Europe warned of cocaine crisis

Nov 03, 2006

The U.N. narcotics czar warns that Europe is headed toward a cocaine crisis as many governments there continue to be in denial of the problem.

Greece could be broke by June, economist says

May 08, 2012

(Phys.org) -- If international lenders refuse to renegotiate substantial reductions in Greek public debt, chances are that whatever government emerges in Greece in the next few weeks will run out of cash by ...

3 Questions: David Singer on the Greek Euro-tragedy

Jun 22, 2011

The economic and fiscal woes of Greece remain at the center of European politics. In recent months, a variety of economists and commentators have asked if Greece should consider the unprecedented move of leaving ...

Recommended for you

Louisiana following judge's order on abortion law

3 hours ago

The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local ...

Report highlights progress, challenges in health IT

21 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Progress has been made toward widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), although there are still barriers to adoption of advanced use of EHRs, according to a report published ...

User comments