General “black out” in healthcare

The healthcare system in Greece is going to experience a 24-hour “black out” as doctors and hospital staff go on a 24-hour strike today, as a response to the destruction of the welfare state and the “harsh reality that humiliates people and employees”.

The strike, which is sponsored the Panhellenic Medical Association (PIS) and the OENGE, POEDIN and POSEYPIKA unions, will begin with an 11am demonstration outside the Ministry of Health, with the participation of employees from the hospitals of Limnos and Ikaria.

In a press conference, representatives of doctors and employees described the dramatic situation of the national healthcare system (ESY) and national healthcare provider (EOPYY) “falling apart” and over 1.5 million uninsured and unemployed citizens. The president of the public hospital doctor federation (OENGE) Dimitris Varnavas explained that the drastic reduction of inoculations increased chances of outbreaks and a humanitarian crisis.

The president of the nationwide union of public hospital employees (POEDIN) Stavros Koutsioumpelis explained that the healthcare system needs a further 6,500 doctors and 20,000 hospital staff and that as a result hospital departments are underperforming and facing closure, while even the nationwide deployment of the Emergency Services (EKAV) is at risk.

The situation at the “Evangelismos” hospital, which cares for 500,000 external patients and 52,000 inpatients annually, was highlighted for the “third world situation”. Over 1,400 positions are vacant and the special units are understaffed bellow international safety guidelines, in one of the country’s largest and busiest hospitals.

The general secretary of the federation of IKA science and healthcare staff (POSEYPIKA) Charalambos Bonanos spoke of a nightmare scenario, where 5,000 doctors are struggling to look after 10,000,000 people.

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