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British tourist dies on Kalymnos due to ambulance shortage, says Hospitals Union

A 74-year-old British tourist died on the island of Kalymnos in the Dodecanese in the night form Monday to Tuesday because there was no ambulance available to take her to hospital, the national union of public hospital workers (POEDIN) has said.

In a statement, POEDIN said the local hospital on Kalymnos does not provide an ambulance service at night.

The woman fell ill while on a yacht docked at Emporios and the local hospital was notified to dispatch an ambulance.

“The hospital’s reply was that there is no night shift and that she should be transferred by private means,” POEDIN said.

The yacht crew sought a private car to transfer the woman to the hospital, the owner of a jeep 4×4 offered to transfer the woman.

However, the woman died in hospital.

According to POEDIN statement, the call to the hospital for the ambulance was made at 0:45 a.m. Tuesday, Sept 4.The private car with the British tourist arrived at the hospital at 2:00 a.m.

According to Kalymnos Port authorities, the woman received first aid by foreign doctors on board of another yacht anchored closed to yacht “TAI LUK.”

The Port Authorities were informed about the incident by the local police that said the woman had possibly suffered a “heart arrest.”

Emporios, the village with a few residents, lies in the north-west side of the island, at a distance of 19.5 km away from capital Pothia where the hospital is located.

According to local media, the island of 16,000 residents and hundreds of tourists in summer, remains no ambulance from 11:00 p.m at night until 07:00 a.m. the following morning since August 17th 2018.

The two-month contracts of paramedics have not been renewed, kalymnos news writes, urging local authorities to solve the problem as soon as possible.

The woman’s body was transferred to the island of Rhodes for autopsy.

The Prosecutor of Kos, in charge also the neighboring island, has ordered the the Port Authorities of Kalymnos to conduct preliminary investigation.

The TAI LUK was under British flag.

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