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Hospitals in Athens: Stretchers in Covid-clinics, waiting 20h for transfer

Hospitals in Athens are full as a cocktail of infections such as Covid-19, flu and seasonal viruses, sends more and more patients to public health services. The situation is described as rather chaotic with patients to have to spend endless hours on stretchers in clinic corridors or in ERs due to shortage of free beds.

Patients in emergencies can wait for 20 hours to be transferred to another clinic

Not to mention the endless long queues where patients – or in best case, their accompanied persons stand for an admission ticket or a ticket for a scheduled appointment with a doctor.

“It is indicative that some hospitals in the capital have even put stretchers even in Covid-clinics as the beds that have been opened for coronavirus cases are not enough to meet the demand,” notes newspaper ethnos in its exclusive report on Friday.

The situation in public hospitals of Attica, and especially in the center of Athens, is dramatic as so far no more Covid beds have been opened to cover the increasing demand.

After all, they were limited when the big wave of the pandemic was over.

Waiting on stretcher up to 20 hours for transfer

At the Agia Olga Hospital, however, the Administration even put stretchers to the Covid-clinics where patients who are infected with coronavirus but are not intubated are hospitalized.

According to ethnos, the problem starts with the fact that most hospitals in Attica have not opened enough Covid-beds, even though the cases have started to increase dramatically.

The result is that hospital administrations attempt to transfer Covid-patients to other health care institutions that have free beds.

In this context, patients who sought a hospital on emergency duty have to wait up to 20 hours until they are transferred to another hospital.

“But the suffering is indescribable as most of the time they are left to wait outside a room, in a corridor, or in the Emergency Department, spending almost a day on a uncomfortable stretcher, until an ambulance from EKAV picks them up for another hospital institution.

In Sismanoglio hospital, 38 patients were ‘stranded’ in the Emergency Departments (EDs) for treatment during the general duty on January 9.

The hospital was suffocatingly full, while the unit for short hospitalization did not have place for anymore patients.

However, even two days after the emergency duty 26 patients were still stranded in the Emergency Department, hospital workers told

All the Covid-beds in Sismanoglio as well as in Evangelismos, the Red Cross,  Gennimatas and also in the other hospitals are full.

Changes in hospitals on duty schedules

In an effort to normalize the situation, the leadership of the Health Ministry is trying to change the on-call system in the hospitals of Attica, as the existing system is not working.

A new plan is being reportedly so that hospitals in central Athens are not that full of patients and suffering, while at the same time the regional ones show less occupancy.

In addition, the phenomenon has intensified recently due to viruses, flu and Covid-19 cases, with the result that the situation is explosive.

The Health Ministry has requested a complete plan for the changes in the on-calls from those in charge of the Regional Health Departments.

Worth noting that Health Minister Thanos Plevris claimed in an TV interview two days ago that there was no need to change the schedule of on-call duties in hospitals in central Athens.

He insisted that there was no necessity for this, even though he was reminded that patients seeking emergencies have to have at least 6 but even 10 or up to 16 hours.

To be frank, I did not pay much attention to his arguments because he is known to present the black as white and to have no idea how the hospitals and the health sector in general works.

PS Real life was again quicker than the most useless health minister “of all times (!?)”.

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  1. This was caused by several years of being distanced from one another, the Antisocial distancing, masking and hiding from other people has ruined the ability of our immune systems, we as humans are suppose to be exposed to germs in order to build immunity/defense of health threats. The 3 years of Covid Policy, a policy the world has never done for a virus before! This is the result, all of society may as well have all taken antibiotics at the same time, it is like turning off all security/firewalls on your computer, clearing your system and leaving the computer on an adult video stream site, then wonder how the adware/spyware infected your hard drive!

    • Well that and the chronic defunding of public health. If it were properly funded none of this chaos would be happening. But hey, what else can you expect from ND? Living up their promises: the financial interests before anything and everything else!

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