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German MPs “inspect” Athens biggest public hospital. To see the damages of German austerity?

Awa! Awesome news! Seven German parliamentarians “inspected” the Evangelismos Hospital, one of the biggest public hospitals of the Greece, to see for themselves the situation in the Public Health System and how it works, the Athens News Agency reported on Monday. Without mentioning names and political parties the interested “Seven” belong to, the report says that the German visitors entered several hospital departments, discussed with the management and met with representatives of the Association of Hospital Workers. They received briefing about the shortage of personnel and logistics, the underfunding of public hospitals, the issue of some 2,5 million people without insurance but also about the issue of …”German WWII reparations.”

Athens News Agency mentions a “German MP who expressed his sympathy to Greeks, saying that his wife was descended from Kalavryta*.” End of story and report with a sentimental touch…

I have no idea whether the “Seven” spoke with the patients and their guardians – that is relatives functioning as “nurses” -, I have no idea whether they talked with patients about the many extra cost for the families once a member needs to be hospitalized. Neither whether they found out how the personnel deals with patients with special needs or those without family, relatives and friends to take care of them.

According to report “Poor Patients” broadcast by German state TV ARD and magazine PlusMinus on 12. April 2015:

“The municipal hospital Evangelismos, right in the heart of the capital. One of the biggest in the country. The austerity cuts imposed from above has created huge budget gaps as everywhere in healthcare of the country. 600 work posts were deleted and never refilled again. The hospital lacks money for materials and much-needed renovations.”

Plus Minus Magazine quotes chief surgeons complaining about the exhausting shifts in OP rooms and stresses that the filming crew was not allowed to talk with the patients.

I suppose the “Seven” had a half-day tour through the Hospital and then went across the street for a coffee or a lunch at one of the expensive restaurants in Kolonaki district, where the Hospital is located.

I could understand that they missed the point in several hospital wards, when there is no nursing personnel for one hour, when the shifts change. I assume that they were unable to find out that hiring a private nurse cost 65-70 euro for a 6.5-hour shift.

I further assumed that they bypassed the Emergency Department when the Hospital is on general on-call duty with the patients crowding the sticky-air corridors and ERs and have long awaiting hours to be checked by a doctor.

But it doesn’t matter. These nursing personnel shortage and awful ED conditions were present also before the crisis, anyway. It was a matter of priorities for the governments and the health ministers and the hospital manages, and the well-being of the patient apart from the medical treatment was apparently never an issue for them. It’s only that after the crisis, things got much worse.

When they are back in Germany, the “Seven” MPs will probably make some statements and express their sympathy and solidarity with the Greek public health care personnel. They may even express outrage about the conditions in the Greek public health system, forgetting that it was EU Task Force head, the German Horst Reichenbach who together with the collaborating ministers of the previous governments caused this situation.

And all this, while everyone in Greece -incl. governments, hospital managers and health ministers – knew about the overspending in public hospitals, was aware of the brainless waste of money in overcharged material and supplies. A party that lasted for several years if not decades.

Now the party is over, the budgets and the work places have been cut and it is the usual suspect, the Poor Greek Patient, who pays the price.

Somebody ordered the very wrong prescription with fatal side effects , I am afraid.

*The Massacre of Kalavryta or the Holocaust of Kalavryta  refers to the extermination of the male population and the total destruction of the town of Kalavryta, by German occupying forces during World War II, on 13 December 1943.

PS I am puzzled about what the German WWII reparations” issue has to do with the Public Health Care system.


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One comment

  1. I’m pretty sure that I saw some girls name in the Kalvryta memorial. Some of them not older than 4. It a place you must visit to understand. Atmosphere there is very heavy.