Thursday, 16 May 2013

Greece’s 200% increase in HIV shows how disastrous austerity can be for public health

“Greece is an example of perhaps the worst case of austerity leading to public health disasters,” Mr. Stuckler explained in a telephone interview.

 “After mosquito spraying programs were cut, we’ve seen a return of malaria, which the country has kept under control for the past four decades. New HIV infections have jumped more than 200 percent,” he noted.

“The thing about healthcare systems,” the OECD’s Ankit Kumar explained in a telephone interview, “Is you cut the money today, and start to see the cuts’ impact at least three to four years from now.

You know that people aren’t getting their medications. But it takes a couple of years before this manifests itself in high levers of sickness, fewer people being able to work, and more people facing shorter lives. 

Given the consequences of what has happened in Greece, these outcomes are just going to get worse and worse.”

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