Lung cancer in the era of Greek economic crisis.

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 5/02/2016 12:01

Nikos, a 63-year-old gentleman presented to our clinic with a 12-month history of chest pain and a 9-month history of a progressively enlarged mass of the left hemi-thorax. The last three months the pain intensity score was reported to be 9–10, with 10 indicating the worst pain ever.

Saloustros E, Vichas G, Margiolaki A, Koumiotaki S, Androulakis N, Georgoulias V. Lung cancer in the era of Greek economic crisis. Lung Cancer. 2014 Aug 2. pii:S0169-5002(14)00316-X. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016950021400316X


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5/02/2016

Physical examination revealed an 18 cm mass fixed to the thorax. A specimen of the mass obtained through core biopsy revealed squamous cell lung cancer. The patient did not seek medical attention earlier because he did not want to loose any day from work. His four-member family was totally depended on his income after his wife and two children all lost their jobs to Greek economic crisis. This case illustrates how life in Greece has been turned on its head since the debt crisis commenced. But in few areas the change has been more striking than in health care. Until recently, Greece had a typical European health system, with employers and individuals contributing to a fund that with government assistance secured universal care. People who lost their jobs received health care and unemployment benefits for a year, but were still treated by hospitals if they could not afford to pay even after the benefits expired. Things changed in July 2011, when Greece signed a supplemental loan agreement with international lenders to avoid financial collapse. Now, as stipulated in the deal, Greeks must pay all costs out of pocket after their benefits expire. About half of Greece's 1.2 million long-term unemployed lack health insurance, a number that is expected to explode in a country with 25 percent unemployment rate and a moribund economy, according to the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Greek Workers.


Saloustros E, Vichas G, Margiolaki A, Koumiotaki S, Androulakis N, Georgoulias V.

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