The Monday edition of Ta Nea features an expose on the rather dramatic situation most of the public hospitals in Greece; endless queues, lack of necessary medical materials and frustration.
The newspaper report focused on the four largest hospitals, the Red Cross, the hospital in Nikea, the Evangelismos and the KAT. On average, the Nikea hospital received about 1,600 patients on a 24-hour call, while the Evangelismos receives about 1,400 patients.
With the hospitals virtually bursting to the seams, patients often wait for hours on end, causing further frustration and anxiety, while many end up being “parked” on cots in hallways until a room is made available. This in turn has a dramatic impact on hospital facilities, such as rest rooms.
Doctors and nurses at these hospitals have consistently complained about being short-staffed, but lately they have also expressed their concern about the quality of medical materials that their managements have resorted to, due to tight budgets.
About 15% to 20% of patients arrive at the hospitals by ambulance and only about a third will be admitted for treatment; the rest of the patients should have addressed the newly-formed PEDY for primary healthcare services.
The Minister of Health Makis Voridis was asked about this report on Monday morning by SKAI TV and responded that he is preparing a series of interventions to improve the situation, starting with the recruitment of 2,800 doctors, nurses and assorted medical staff. Further details will be announced on Tuesday.
Pharmacists react to profit margin cuts
The Minister of Health has also argued that he fully intends to comply with the bailout commitments in healthcare, which includes a reduction of the profit margin of pharmacies, much to the dismay of the pharmacist unions.
The unions have stressed that they have requested a meeting with the Minister since June 16th, with union leader Kostas Lourantos arguing that they will not “sit around and wait to be butchered”.