Austerity can be bad for your health. Greece has seen drastic increases in infant mortality, suicide and depression since the government made deep cuts to healthcare and social support services between 2009 and 2012. These fallouts may soon be reprised in other countries that have embarked on tough austerity measures, such as Spain and Portugal.
Following the country's financial crash, Greece cut its hospital budget by 25 per cent cut and slashed funding for mental health problems by 55 per cent. An analysis of health statistics shows that as a result, suicides increased 45 per cent between 2007 and 2011 and, over roughly the same period, cases of depression more than doubled and infant mortality rose by 43 per cent.
Needle-exchange schemes and free condoms for injecting drug users were also cut. By 2012, new HIV cases in this group were 32 times what they had been in 2009.
The country has also had its first cases of locally spread malaria for 40 years.
Thursday, 3 April 2014
Austerity can be deadly
In Greek austerity tragedy shows where not to make cuts Andy Coghlan writes: