Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Deputy Health Minister Marios Themistocleous will visit the Papageorgiou Hospital in Thessaloniki next Tuesday where the first afternoon surgery will take place, commencing an initiative by the relevant ministry to schedule afternoon surgeries for paying patients.

Surgeries at public hospitals are conducted for free, but only in the mornings. The lack of a sufficient number of scheduled surgeries on a daily basis has caused a backlog and complaints by patients and their families.

Greece also faces a decades-old problem with “under-the-table” payments to healthcare professionals in order to “facilitate” treatments, diagnostic procedures and surgery, known as the ubiquitous “fakelaki”, or “envelope” with cash enclosed.

Expressing his conviction in the measure, the minister stressed the importance of addressing the lengthy wait lists, particularly at the Papageorgiou Hospital.

Furthermore, he also announced that the measure will be extended to the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens, the largest hospital in Greece.

To enhance transparency and empower patients, Georgiadis announced the launch of a unified online surgery list, covering both morning and afternoon surgeries for a three-month period.

In a comprehensive update on healthcare regulations, Georgiadis highlighted a notable revision in a draft bill currently in the public consultation phase, namely, eliminating a fine for unvaccinated individuals over the age of 60.