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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2006 June;165(3):99-103


language: English

Hepatitis and health policies in Greece

Christodoulou I. 1, Pogonidis C. 2, Xenodoxidou E. 2

1 2nd Surgical Department, Papanikolaou Hospital Thessaloniki, Greece; 2 Department of Surgery, Sismanoglion Hospital Komotini, Greece


Aim. Medical care targets not only to the elongation of patients’ survival but also to the promotion of quality of life. In Greece, studies of quality of life have become important recently, but the use of independent indicators is rare. Evaluation and quality control of health services have been assumed as secondary matters for long. Aim of this study is to correlate hepatitis rates to health policies in Greece.
Methods. This non-systematic review presents the authors’ selection of studies. Two databases were searched using basic search terms, and authors also reported their own experience.
Results. Public health status expresses the social - economic level and the conditions of hygiene in each nation. Chronic infection from hepatitis B is very frequent and it could be used as an indicator of public health. Hepatitis rates, an important cause of cirrhosis of liver or hepatocellular cancer, affects dramatically public health. In Greece, chronic infection cases of hepatitis have been decreased (3%). However, due to the increase of drugs addicts and the entry of immigrants from countries with higher percentages of infection there exists a need of re-planning on the subject of massive vaccinations. Also, hepatitis C, second in frequency in Greece among cases of hepatitis, presents an increasing rate. Thrace is a region of high epidemiological interest due to the existence of high risk groups, like gipsies and Muslims. These people leave under low socio-economic conditions.
Conclusions. It would not be an exaggeration to characterize hepatitis as a useful indicator of public health but also as a tool for evaluation of National Health System’s policies.

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