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Austerity Kills Patients in Greek Hospitals

Austerity translated into “medical personnel shortage” started to formally kill patients in the Greek public hospitals where conditions resemble more and more those of a Third-World country and human lives are sacrificed on the altar of the economic crisis. The tragic incident occurred in the state hospital in Alexandroupolis. A neuro-surgeon was operating a 18-year-old patient when another patient was transferred to the hospital with the urgent need of a neurological intervention. However the surgeon was not able to treat both incidents and the second patient passed away.  

The relatives sued the doctor, the chief surgeon submitted his resignation and the incident became public by the chairman of the  Hospitals Doctors Federation in Thrace, Savvas Deyteraios.

The ultimate impasse

A few days ago the manager of the state General Hospital on the island of Rhodes, Michalis Kokkinos,  submitted his resignation saying that “the situation in the hospital has reached the ultimate impasse, without regular surgeries due to staff shortages that start from the blood department and extend to all departments of the hospital.”

 A similar complain came from the president of the Greek Federation of Hospital Doctors (OENGE) Dimitris Varnavas.  “Public hospitals barely function due to lack of personnel and medical supplies and several hospital departments collapse very rapidly. The Greek Health System (ESY) collapsed in the most formal and resounding way,” said Varnavas during a  press conference and added “There is no hospital with new appointed management boards, the boards that were appointed cannot take important decisions because their appointments have expired. The result is problems in the procurement of supplies and execution of the budget. Hospitals are unable to due on duty due to lack of staff and medical supplies.”

GPs instead of Cardiologists

In the state hospital at Patission Street in downtown Athens, general practitioners are on call instead of cardiologists. In the public hospitals of Lemnos (North Aegean) and Kyparissia(Peloponnese) cardiologist are on call replacing GPs.

Doctors at the Hospitals of Trikala (Central Greece) and Rethymnon (Crete) complained that no new doctors are hired to replace retiring staff.

Christos Androutsos, child psychiatrist at the Department of  Psychiatric Hospitalization of Adolescents at Sismanogleio Hospital in Athens, said that the hospital department is about to close down due to significant shortages of medical and paramedics staff.


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