This project investigates the effects of austerity measures in health are ethics and practice in Greece. The financial crisis of 2008 and the austerity that followed have gravely affected the Greek health care system. Hospital budgets have been reduced by 40%, and increased unemployment has left 1.5 million people without public health insurance. Studies in developing countries show that upholding high ethical standards in resource-poor conditions is challenging. Yet, the effects of austerity on the ethics of medical practice in developed countries remain unexamined.
This study is the first to explore the ethical issues of health professionals in Greece today. Using semi-structured interviews and ethical analysis, it will look at the effects of austerity on the doctor-patient relationship, and on the relationship between healthcare professionals and the health care institutions in which they operate. The study findings will provide rigorous and independent data that could inform health policy in Greece and other countries that consider restructuring of their health care system.