Half of the care services are provided by persons who are in illegal situations, most of them without specialized training
The patients who are hospitalized in Greece are forced to hire their own nurses in order to receive basic care. Since Greece had to take drastic austerity measures, universal health insurance no longer exists, and budget cuts have led to a shortage of medical staff, according to nytimes.com.
Private caregivers have existed for a long time in the Greek health system, but the country’s economic crisis has left many patients broke and without the necessary insurance to hire qualified personnel.
In this regard, patients resort to illegal nurses, who are often unskilled immigrants. They generally claim to be family members or old employees of the patients, but in reality the agencies who hire these women send men in hospitals to distribute cards that offer 12-hour care for 50 euros. A contracted nurse costs approximately 60 euros for 6 hours, and patients with insurance may be discounted about a third of the expenses.
A senior official declared that, in his opinion, half of the care services are provided by 18.000 persons in illegal situations, most of them without specialized training, originating from countries such as Romania, Bulgaria or Georgia.