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Seeking for a CT scan, an injured child was taken from hospital to hospital

An injured child was transferred from hospital to hospital for several hours until a CT scanner was found to examine the cause of ears bleeding. This unbelievable incident took place in Greece’s second big city Thessaloniki on Sunday.

A 6-year-old boy suffered a head injury after he fell with with his skate and started bleeding from one of his ears.

The parents called an ambulance that quickly rushed to take the child to a hospital.

At Ippokrateio hospital the CT scanner was broken down. Doctors advised transfer to another hospital, Agios Pavlos, however, the CT scanner there there was no protocol for children below 10 years old and doctors did not take responsibility for such an examination.

The boy returned again to Ippokrateio, where doctors decided to send the child to a private clinic at the expense of the hospital, where the CT scan finally took place.

The child had an injury to the petrous bone and is now being treated at Ippokrateio hospital and is in good health.

“It was an Odyssey,” the child’s father told Mega TV adding that the accident took place at 1 p.m. and bleeding was stopped at 7 o’ clock in the afternoon, while the CT scan took place at 7:15 p.m..

“It is the second time in three months that the CT scanner at Ippokrateio hospital breaks down,” the vice-president of the hospital’s Employees Union, Christos Tzelepis, complained to Mega.

He added that the scan is new, “and one of the good ones, but it was broken due to technical issues, for one lamp. It was broken since Friday and yesterday it started working. They informed us that because ours is broken, that is why Agios Pavlos is on duty.”

There was a second CT scan since 3-4 months but it still has not been put into operation. “There are eight colleagues who work on the CT scanner and three of them are retiring at the end of the year,” Tzelepis stressed.

What if hospitals have new CT or MRI scans when there is no technicians to operate them or spare parts need time?

Last summer in one of the biggest hospitals in Athens, the MRI scan – upgraded model and brand new since half a year – “broke down” due to a spare part. Patients had to reschedule appointments for four weeks later and were informed that the results would be another “four weeks later”. Normally it is 3 working days.

So a relative with a serious health problem would have to wait for three whole months since he made the appointment. He was forced to have the MRI at a private clinic within a week. he had to pay form his own pocket for the prescription had expired: 400 euros.

PS Once it’s the missing ambulances, then the CT and MRI scans, then this and that, we, Greeks, we need to be immortal in order to cope with the pace of a broken down public health care system.

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  1. In the public health system the problem of equipment remaining out of service for extended periods awaiting spares is a long standing problem. When there is working equipment, however, the delay from having a scan to getting the result is ridiculous. With modern scanners all the data is stored electronically and so can be transmitted anywhere in the world within seconds.

    A friend of mine suddenly found he couldn’t control one leg properly. We took him to a local private health clinic where he was seen immediately by a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon suspected some form of stroke and sent him down to the clinic’s own MRI scanner for a brain scan. That was done immediately. He then went back to the neurosurgeons office where he already had the results on his computer and he had already diagnosed a mini-stroke from which my friend recovered within hours. If a private clinic can do this so could a public hospital. They have the same equipment.