IMF and European co-workers attack public health in Greece _via The Lancet

“Debt crisis strains Greece’s ailing health system”, reports Eva Karamanoli (July 23, p 303).1 Snap shots and half truths; it is the debt plus the effects of the measures dictated more than a year ago by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank, and the European Commission for bailing out Greek debt that are harming our health system.
From 2009 onwards, research has shown the negative effects of fiscal austerity programmes on public health spending: poor countries with IMF loans displace aid from public health2 and report negative effects on community health.3 As expected, the IMF reacted by providing unpublished IMF-sponsored studies claiming that health spending does not change (at least) and that governments are not forced to decrease social spending in IMF-supported programmes.4
However, Greek reality is different.
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