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Greece mobilizes private hospitals as Covid-admissions in Athens spike

Two private clinics in Athens are being mobilized to treat Covid-19 patients as public hospitals in the Greek capital struggle with increased admissions and intubations. Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced on Tuesday that the Athens Medical group’s unit in Peristeri and the private Leto maternity clinic will be will be voluntarily included in the national health system for the treatment of Covid-19 cases in Attica.

Both clinics will start treating  Covid-19 cases as of upcoming Thursday, March 11.

According to official figures, over 90% of Attica’s 350 or so intensive care beds for Covid patients were full on Monday. Capacity at its regular coronavirus wards reached 82%. Capacity at Covid ICUs reached 66.5% nationwide and at regular wards 50%.

Chart: Red Admissions, Green Discharges

Last week the Minister announced a plan to designate one more public hospital to Covdi-19 only and to outsource non-Covid cases and emergency admissions to one military and to private clinics.

Chaos in Halkida

The Health Ministry has been also planning to use 30 beds in Halkida General Hospital in Evia to treat Covid-patients from other hospitals in Athens. However, the plan has not materialized so far due to strong reactions by doctors and the management. The hospital reportedly has 60 Covid-beds and the ministry aims to increase them to 90 and furthermore close sections of the hospital like the gynecology, the pediatric and the surgery and turn them into Covid-wards.
This would mean that some 30 non-Covid patients will have to be transferred to Athens and other areas, and residents of Evia, some 80 km away from Athens, will be without hospital care.
The hospital management and the doctors resist the ministry plan citing shortage of adequate number of doctors and nurses.
More on coronavirus in Greece here.

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