The commander of general hospital of Agrinio was forced to resign on Saturday after revelations of dramatically high mortality rates of Covid-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital in western Greece.
On Thursday, the Greek hospital workers union POEDIN revealed that 35 out of 40 patients died in the ICU of Agrinio hospital, with the mortality rate being almost 100%.
According to POEDIN, the ICU with capacity of 5 beds turned into a Covisd-19 ICU in October 2020. Before the outbreak, the ICU was a general one with a mortality rate equal to the other ICUs average.
Media reported on Friday that a total of 41 patients were hospitalized in the Covid-ICU of the hospital and 40 lost their life, with the last one on Friday morning.
The hospital was receiving Covid-patients transferred also from other regions.
Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kotnozamanis warned the Agirinio commander on Saturday that he will be removed from the post if he would not submit his resignation by Monday.
New Democracy MP Marios Salmas who visited the Agrino hospital on Saturday blamed that commander for negligence and ignorance saying that when he asked him about the issue he responded that he was just an accountant.
The MP added that administrative and criminal responsibilities have to be investigated by the Agrinio Prosecutor’s office.
The commander said in his resignation letter that health authorities were aware of the high mortality rate.
POEDIN, however, attributes the high mortality rates in the ICUs of many hospitals in the country to the chronic diseases of the National Health System such as ICUs with fewer staff than essential and improvisation in order to meet the needs due to the pandemic.
President of POEDIN Michalis Giannakos said that it’s not only the Agrinio ICU with high mortality rate but also the one at the general hospital of Edessa.
He underlined that the ICU in Edessa was makeshift with 6 beds. The mortality was 100%.
Mortality in ICUs depends on many factors: “The level of hospitalization in coronavirus clinics, the timely intubation of patients before the condition is irreversible, the timely delivery to ICUs and not the long waiting list in the waiting list, the choice of patients for ICU admission age criteria, the possibility of staying in the ICU after the intubation for follow-up, etc., Giannakos explained.
He added that the Director of Agrinio ICU repeatedly requested experienced specialized staff but just two assistant doctors and unskilled nursing staff was transferred there.”
The ICU of Agrinio could be just the tip of the iceberg of how the government dealt with the Covid-19 in terms of health care. It hardly hired experienced staff, even though the number of beds was increased due to donations.
Will ever somebody dig deep and blame this government? Hardly.
Worth noting that the commander of Agrinio was appointed by SYRIZA and was one of the few who were not replaced once New Democracy gained the power.