Greece: More than 3-million without health cover and 1.38-million unemployed

Posted: December 12, 2013 in General - Unemployment
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Via France24. Three million Greeks without health cover: NGO. One of the items that might be assumed in the Eurozone is that it’s citizens have a much higher level of social support than other parts of the world. Unfortunately, due to more than six years of decline and record high unemployment of 27.4% many Greeks have fallen outside of the safety net. Excerpt:

More than a quarter of Greeks are unable to afford health cover, a medical aid group said Monday, warning that children and pregnant women were at risk. Doctors of the World (MDM) said more than three million people, or 27.2 percent of the population, cannot pay their contributions to social security and are therefore barred from free healthcare.

“We are very worried by the number of people who have lost access to social insurance,” Anna Maili, head of MDM’s Greek branch, told a news conference. “This has grave consequences for the health of children and pregnant women,” she said, explaining that many families no longer had infants vaccinated.

The cost of immunisation over a child’s first six years is between 1,400 and 1,800 euros ($1,900-2,500). “Every day we see children aged two or three who have not been vaccinated,” Maili said. “Over the last nine months we examined 10,633 children of whom 6,580 had to be vaccinated,” she said.

Government cuts to health spending owing to an austerity regime imposed in 2010 in return for EU-IMF bailout loans was having a broader effect on the Greek birth rate, MDM said. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of stillborn babies increased by 21 percent, the organisation said, adding that in coming years a growing number of women will be inclined to having fewer children.

Unemployment in Greece, estimated at over 27 percent, is particularly harsh on women. “On average, three women out of 10 between the ages of 25 and 44 are out of work,” said Panos Mouzalas, a gynaecologist and MDM member.

For those interested The Economic Times (The Times of India) posted an updated story on Greek unemployment yesterday. Greek unemployment ‘stabilizing’ despite September rise. Detail:

Greece’s statistics office is noting some signs of stabilization in the labor market despite a modest increase in the country’s unemployment rate in September to 27.4 per cent from the previous month’s 27.3 per cent. The country’s statistical authority says a total 1.38 million people were out of work in September, up from 1.30 million a year earlier. Despite the rise, the agency said Wednesday that it has observed “a relative stability” over the past four months, since the record of 27.5 per cent set in May. Unemployment has increased almost four-fold over the past six years and over a million jobs have been lost as Greece has contended with an acute debt crisis. The country has been kept afloat by international bailouts since 2010.

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