The influence of the medical profession on the National Health Service of Greece, 1983-2001.
Greece has experienced three major Health Care Reforms since 1974, in 1983, 1992 and 2001.The common characteristic of all three has been that they have still not realized their aims and objectives. One explanation for the puzzling failure may lie in the way structural institutions shape and are being shaped by the main actors in the health arena in Greece. Furthermore, this study argues that health policy-making is dependent on broader policy making and on decisions or non decisions that have already been made in the past. Within this context, there are several embedded interests, such as the medical profession and its trade unions, civil servants and social insurance funds, which benefit from the failure of any reform, and are in favour of the preservation of the status quo, ignoring the dissatisfaction of the Greek citizens with the health services they receive.\ud The aim of this study is to reveal the influence of the main actors in the system, with particular reference to the medical profession, through careful and in-depth analysis of the series of reforms. The strongest focus will be on the most recent reforms of 2001. Documentary collection and interviews with key informants (participants and representatives of organizations/interests) in the Greek Health Care System, were undertaken and analyzed, using the most suitable framework derived from historical institutionalism.
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