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Purpose: This paper presents the odyssey of accrual and cost accounting practices introduction to the public hospitals that constitute the main body of the Greek National Health System NHS.

Methodology: The accounting reform process is analysed through the prism of the theoretical framework of Mintzberg et al. 1976 in relation to decision-making. Government efforts to implement organizational and accounting change for better accountability and cost control in the Greek NHS and resistance to change expressed by several participants in the reform chain are discussed thoroughly. Furthermore, the unavoidably worsening results of not taking the proper decisions and actions in time are presented and their disastrous consequences are discussed.

Findings: Jurisdiction problems, lack of commitment, short term goal seeking by politicians, narrow investigation of the importance of change in the NHS, little attention given to the preconditions necessary for successful implementation and ambiguity regarding the effects of change on individuals and interested groups are some of the reasons that have contributed to the unsuccessful accounting reform attempt in the Greek NHS.

Keywords: Accrual accounting; Greece; National Health Systems; accounting reform; cash accounting

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-01-01

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  • The International Journal of Management Cases (IJMC) developed in 2002 from its predecessor The Journal of Management Cases, and present case studies across a broad range of management disciplines. The IJMC is the official journal of the CIRCLE Research Centre. CIRCLE (Centre for International Research Consumers, Locations and their Environments) is a virtual research group spreading over 70 universities.
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