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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-10-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Review on medical charges reveals extensive fraud by private clinics
  • [02] Three officers killed, one injured by mortar shell blast on firing range
  • [03] IMF's World Economic Outlook sees growth, more jobs in Greece for 2015

  • [01] Review on medical charges reveals extensive fraud by private clinics

    ANA-MPA-Two separate hospital admissions for one patient during the same period of time, gynaecological exams for men and pregnancy-related checks for women over 60 years of age are some of the flagrant cases of unlawful charges made by private clinics to Greece's National Health Service (EOPYY) presented in a review by the country's health minister on Tuesday. The review was conducted by private companies on behalf of EOPYY and involves charges made by private clinics in 2013.

    Health Minister Makis Voridis presented the data in a joint press conference with three of his predecessors - Education Minister Andreas Loverdos, New Democracy's parliamentary spokesman Adonis Georgiadis and New Democracy MP Andreas Lykouretzos - pointing to a "continuation" in the efforts to tackle illegality in the health sector.

    The review included 444,041 hospital admissions in 101 private clinics, which correspond to a total cost of 286.16 million euros.

    Out of this amount, auditors concluded that 36.3 million euros were not be justified by the submitted paperwork. Auditors also found that categories of charges worth about 5 million euros which are either non-compatible with the regulations of EOPYY, or appeared to be illegal. Among the cases included in the review, auditors uncovered separate hospital admissions recorded during the same period for the same patient and charges for external medical services for patients who had actually been admitted. Other checks uncovered private clinics had charged gynaecological tests for male patients and vice versa. Another case showed clinics charged pregnancy bills for female patients over 60 years of age and children under 10 years of age, while another case concerned the hospital admission of an adult to a newborns emergency unit. Voridis said each case will be examined separately and be passed over to the public prosecutor. "The minimum measure (we will take) will be to cancel the contract," he said, adding checks will extend to hospitals around the country. The vast majority (91%) of incidents included in the review, which was handed to the minister at the end of September, concern charges for hospital admissions. The remaining 9% of charges are expected to have been analysed by next month, while checks in diagnostic centres will be finished by the end of October. On his part, Loverdos said he had been jeered, attacked and verbally abused by some of those companies that were investigated. Georgiadis said that main opposition party SYRIZA had not supported the review and preferred to privatise the system and Lykouretzos said checks were done against vested interests and behaviours.

    [02] Three officers killed, one injured by mortar shell blast on firing range

    ANA-MPA -- Three Greek infantry officers, two professional sergeants, aged 33 and 34, and a 19-year-old Navy corporal doing his national service, were killed by a mortar shell blast at 13:30 on Tuesday, during planned firing of heavy infantry guns using 81-mm mortar rounds on the 'Glafyra' firing range in Magnesia, central Greece.

    Also injured in the blast was a 30-year-old lieutenant, who was taken to Volos Hospital. According to hospital sources, the officer's life was not at risk and his injuries were confined to the outer wall of the abdomen.

    A Hellenic Army General Staff (HAGS) announcement said the accident occurred due to the splitting of a mortar tube during firing.

    Deputy Defence Minister Ioannis Lambropoulos and the head of HAGS Lieut. Gen. Christos Manolas have already arrived at the scene.

    Larissa Court-Martial Prosecutor has been briefed on the accident and an inquiry has been ordered by the military leadership into its precise causes.

    Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos has declared three days of mourning in the Armed Forces and the defence ministry political and military leadership has extended its condolences to the families of the victims.

    Opposition Communist Party of Greece (KKE) also expressed grief and extended condolences to the families of the victims who lost their lives in such a tragic way.

    [03] IMF's World Economic Outlook sees growth, more jobs in Greece for 2015

    ANA-MPA -- Greece can expect a gradual economic recovery in 2015, with a return to growth and declining unemployment, according to the World Economic Outlook report released by the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday.

    The report confirms a 2.9 pct GDP growth forecast for Greece in the coming year, up from 0.6 pct in 2014, with inflation rate running at 0.3 pct, up from negative rates of -0.8 pct in 2014. The current accounts balance is forecast to remain in surplus, though this is expected to decline to 0.1 pct of GDP in 2015, from 0.7 pct of GDP in 2014.

    The IMF forecasts a small decline in unemployment rates in Greece, from 25.8 pct in 2014 to 23.8 pct in 2015.

    Overall, the report sees the Eurozone recovery as 'weak' and 'uneven' in 2015, with some "core" Eurozone economies facing difficult conditions.

    The report forecasts a "weak and uneven" global economic recovery rising to 3.8 pct in 2015, while potential growth rates - the pace at which annual output can expand without pushing up inflation - are also being revised down.

    "These worse prospects are in turn affecting confidence, demand and growth today," said Olivier Blanchard, Economic Counsellor and head of the IMF's Research Department while presenting the report.


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