Hospitals across Greece are delaying surgeries to free up bed space in the face of growing concerns over hospital capacity constraints. The decision by the Health Ministry, taken amid an influx of Covid-19 patients, will mostly affect selective surgeries and procedures which are expected to be scaled back by up to 80 percent.
According to a memo sent by deputy Health Minister Mina Gaga to the directors of the country’s health regions, regular surgeries can be cut up to 80%. Patients who require emergency surgical intervention will be exempt from the measure.
The Athens-Piraeus Hospital Doctors Association (EINAP) issued a statement denouncing the decision.
Health Minister Thanos Plevris said on Wednesday “no patient will be at risk, neither surgeries that need to be done will not be delayed. All emergency surgeries take place.”
He added that the health ministry is in talks with private clinics so that surgeries can be carried out there if necessary.
In particular, for Attica, he stressed that “there is no change in the planned surgeries” and added that the ministry memo to the hospitals, in fact, “gives the administrations the option, if necessary, to reduce surgeries.”
Note that surgeries were cut also by 80% in the second pandemic wave.
The Minister added that there are 1,300 ICU beds across the country and that public hospitals operate with two speeds.
Plevris noted that there is “stabilization in the number of infections in the last ten days” and warned of “upcoming pressure regarding hospitalizations and deaths.”
sources: cnn.gr, amna, kathimerini
My thoughts go to the medical staff at the hospitals! They have just managed all the patients and themselves though the first waves and now it is time again! How will they have the strengh to do it again and again? I admire these hardworking people!
GET YOUR VACCINE and give the poor nurses and doctors a rest, they really need it!!