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Medicines will be delivered by post

16 January 2014 / 18:01:51  GRReporter
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The Greek postal service (ELTA) is preparing to start providing new services to its customers. As stated by its director Kostis Melahrinos, one of the first courier services in practice will be the delivery of medicines to the homes of ELTA customers.

At first only in the region of Athens and later in other cities, the citizens will be able to submit their prescriptions to the postal worker who will go to the pharmacy, pay for the medicines and will then deliver them to the customer against the appropriate payment.

The price of the service will be 3 euro and a call centre will be operating to serve the customers better. The service will be launched after the end of January.

Gradually, the range of the services offered by ELTA will include the delivery of clothes left for cleaning and even purchases from supermarkets, after the example of the relevant services in Belgium.

In parallel, as of February, the post offices will issue prepaid cards which will enable their holders to shop online safely and without using their credit cards. The procedure will be simple - those who want to hold such a card will apply, indicating the amount that the card will contain. The cardholder can recharge the card whenever he or she wants to.

Another service, which is already rendered on a pilot basis, is the packaging and delivery of the products of small- and medium-sized companies in Greece at the request of their customers. ELTA will inform its customers about their orders and the delivery status through the "trash and trace" system, with a written message to their mobile phones. If a customer wants the consignment to be delivered to his home, he will have to pay an extra 1 euro.

Similar is the basis of the agreement signed between ELTA and the Greek railways OSE that provides for the carriage of consignments, letters and parcels along the Athens-Thessaloniki route. Four containers are being sent daily and the postal service saves 2,300 euro for each of them.

ELTA's head states that the postal network will be expanded through small offices across Greece, their opening hours will be extended too and the new services will be based on the latest digital technology.

In 2013, the Greek postal service incurred losses to the amount of 5-6 million euro but the expectations for 2014 are positive and its management expects earnings in the range of seven million euro. In the first half of the year, ELTA will take over its subsidiary courier company "Tahimetafores ELTA".

However, pharmacists have immediately attacked the intentions of the postal service. Their union is against the delivery of medicines by postal workers, arguing that this is dangerous to public health.

The trade union body of pharmacists states that it will oppose the service planned by ELTA and it has even threatened to initiate litigation if the postal service starts providing it.

The union has sent to ELTA's management an official letter stating:

"We were surprised to read in the media about the intention of ELTA to include the make-up of medical prescriptions in the range of its new services.

We appreciate and support the efforts of the state institutions and of those with state share to modernize and improve their services in times that are difficult in financial terms.

However, besides the legal obstacles, not all actions that are related to health and especially to medicines can be included in the range of courier services, unlike food, detergents or letters.

A medicine is a specific product the storage and transportation of which require specific conditions which, by law, must be met by a pharmacist in order to protect public health.

We perceive the specific publication as an 'inspiration' on the part of specific technocrats who have no sense of understanding society or lack the scientific training on various issues, as shown by the sad reality in Greece in recent years."

Tags: CompaniesGreek postal serviceELTACourier servicesMedicinespharmacists
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