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Worker shortage in ambulance service hurts emergency response

Ambulance workers warn that they face a major worker shortage that is slowing emergency response times across the country.

Currently, 45 ambulances are used during daytime and 28 ambulances at night in Attica, according to the National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV).

International standards recommend provision of one ambulance for every 35,000 people, which means more than double the number of vehicles should be kept in service per shift.

The islands are also affected as emergency response crews are struggling to fully staff ambulances.

According to EKAV data, a total of 450 first responders have retired since 2019, while 560 staff were hired on short-term contracts during the Covid pandemic.

In order to mitigate slow response times, EKAV said, the service needs to convert all short-term contracts to permanent ones and hire an additional 700 staff. [kathimerini]

PS and this reminds us that in case of top emergency, a patient in Athens has to wait at least 40 minutes for an ambulance to come.

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