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Improving the Performance of the Public Health Care System in Greece

Listed author(s):
  • Charalampos Economou

    (Panteion University)

  • Claude Giorno


Greek health outcomes compare favourably with the OECD average. However, the health care system is seen as not working well by the population. One source of dissatisfaction is the high proportion of private household spending on health, including informal payments, while public health spending relative to GDP is one of the lowest in the OECD. This situation leads to inequities in access to certain medical services. Also, there is a weakening of efficiency of the system, which should be addressed sooner than later in view of a rising demand for medical services, which is going to intensify in the coming decades, and the need to keep government health care spending in check. This calls for reforms in four areas: (i) reviewing the excessively fragmented structure of the health care system and its governance; (ii) enhancing the quality of public primary health care services; (iii) modernising hospital administration; and (iv) further tightening control over pharmaceutical expenditure. Améliorer la performance du système public de santé en Grèce Les résultats de la Grèce dans le domaine de la santé se comparent favorablement avec la moyenne de l’OCDE. Cependant, le fonctionnement du système de soins n’est pas satisfaisant selon la population. Une source d’insatisfaction concerne la proportion élevée des dépenses privées de santé des ménages, y compris des paiements informels, alors que les dépenses médicales publiques en proportion du PIB sont parmi les plus faibles de l’OCDE. Cette situation conduit à des problèmes d’équité d’accès à certains services médicaux. On observe aussi une baisse d’efficacité du système à laquelle il import de remédier au plus tôt compte tenu de la hausse de la demande de soins, qui devrait s’intensifier au cours des prochaines décennies et du besoin de contrôle sur la croissance des dépenses publiques de santé. Ceci milite en faveur d’une réforme dans quatre domaines : (i) réviser la structure très fragmentée du système de soins et sa gouvernance; (ii) améliorer la qualité des services publics de soins primaires ; (iii) moderniser l’administration hospitalière ; et (iv) renforcer davantage le contrôle sur les dépenses pharmaceutiques.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 722.

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Date of creation: 21 Sep 2009
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:722-en
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