And what is happening in the health sector is indicative of what is happening in all facets of Greek life. The country is turning into a cash economy. With no money to go around Greeks now face shortages and despair.
Paying for the drugs herself, even in cases of emergency, is not a viable option for patients like Karadona, who works in education in the public sector. With her cancer treatment costing 2,500 euros a month -- but a gross monthly salary of just under half of that -- it is impossible for her to cover her medical bills.
"My husband and I also have two children to support. His business as a fishmonger has also dropped because of the financial crisis as people eat less fresh fish to save money."
In the center of Athens, in one of a handful of state pharmacies, people are looking for prescription drugs that hospitals no longer have in stock.
Number 371, later introduced as 75-year-old Marina Kambaki, gets up from her orange plastic chair to reach the counter only to be told that her diabetes medicine is no available, and she should come back in a few days.
"But I must take it today. This is not something that can wait," she says.
This is the third of the five such authorized pharmacies in Athens that she has traveled to that day, desperate to find her much-needed medication.
"I used to be a social worker. I have paid my contributions all my life and now that I am old my pension has been slashed to almost half and my country is leaving me to rot."
Many of those waiting in line offer similar accounts, echoing the frustration over what they see as the breach of a social contract.
A team of officials representing Greece's creditors is currently in Athens, assessing progress and planning ahead. The pharmaceutical budget is on the agenda after being severely slashed last year.
Austerity has been applied as the main treatment for Greece's many ailments and further cuts may be ahead as forecasts show that the country's economy is expected to contract by a further 4 to 4.5% this year.
But without growth Greece remains on life support, dependent on its creditors.
The government is optimistic that growth is around the corner, and that recovery will be visible within the year, with investors and depositors regaining confidence as talk of an exit from the eurozone has subsided. The much anticipated bank recapitalization, expected to be completed in spring, will be a first, much needed, boost.
It will take some time before the effects of cash injections become visible to ordinary Greek people like Karadona, who wake every day to the fear of not being able to find life-saving drugs. Until then they will carry on tasting the bitter medicine of austerity that opinion polls suggest most believe has been applied in such strong doses as to kill the patient.