Improving the performance of public hospitals in Greece

To improve the performance of hospitals under its national health service, the Ministry of Health of Greece is assessing its current monitoring and evaluation systems. The assessment will help identify ways to improve the process, in particular through establishing sound, measurable indicators and putting in place effective feedback mechanisms.

This latest initiative complements previous efforts to improve the transparency of public hospitals by making available to the public a list of planned surgeries for all public hospitals and by developing an e-governance tool referred to as B.I. Health. The anonymized surgery list, using unique numbers and sorted by urgency, addresses the issue of bypassing the list with informal payments and assists with managing surgery schedules, while B.I. Health itself contains features that focus on monitoring hospital activities and financial management.

With WHO’s support, a team of international experts with extensive experience in monitoring and evaluating hospital performance visited Greece on 4–8 February 2019. The team met key stakeholders, visited public hospitals in urban and rural settings and familiarized themselves with the process for collecting and sharing hospital performance information. During a workshop organized jointly by WHO and the Ministry of Health, the experts presented their findings, shared good practices in improving hospital performance at regional and global levels and offered preliminary suggestions on possible ways forward in Greece.

Participating stakeholders included the Ministry of Health leadership, Regional Health Authorities, hospital management and administration representatives, the National Health Insurance Fund, the Greek DRG Institute and the Ministry of Finance.

Based on the feedback from the visits and the workshop, the team will produce a policy brief evaluating the ongoing attempts and providing strategic policy recommendations for the development of a comprehensive, up-to-date performance monitoring system. The report will be presented to stakeholders during a follow-up country mission, planned for mid-March 2019.

About the Strengthening Capacity for Universal Coverage initiative

The country visit was part of the Strengthening Capacity for Universal Coverage, Phase 2 (SCUC2) action.

The SCUC2 action is carried out with funding from the European Union through a grant agreement between the European Commission and WHO. Its general objective is to contribute to improving health and health equity in Greece, especially among the most vulnerable in the crisis-stricken population, by helping Greek authorities move towards universal health coverage and strengthen the effectiveness, efficiency and resilience of their health system.