At Pajamas Media Dalrymple outlines some of the erroneous conclusions in a Lancet piece that blames the financial crisis for some worsening health outcomes in Greece:
In order to prove that “health outcomes have worsened” the authors did not take the infant mortality rate or the overall life expectancy, but rather the suicide rate (up 17 percent between 2007 and 2009). The authors say that “the inability to repay high levels of personal debt might be a key factor in the increase in suicides”; but only by a very highly, almost totalitarian, definition of health could such an inability to repay be deemed a medical condition which it is the province of doctors to treat.There has also been an increase in HIV infections, half of them brought about by intravenous heroin abuse, which itself rose by 20 percent in 2009:
The latest data suggest that new infections will rise by 52% in 2011 compared with 2010 (922 cases versus 605).According to the article, there were reports of people deliberately infecting themselves with HIV in order to receive the monthly benefit of 700 euros. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the possibility, the pros and cons, of withdrawing this perverse incentive is not discussed in the article.
H/t Michael P. and Greg