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Health Minister sacks hospital management over insanitary conditions

Health Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis sacked the management of the Konstantopoulio-Aghia Olga General Hospital in northern Athens on Tuesday, after an inspection of its psychiatric unit revealed patients of the psychiatric clinic lived in insanitary conditions and crumbling infrastructure.

It is the second management of a public hospital sacked by the Minister since July. In September, the management of Metaxas Oncology hospital in Piraeus was ousted after it failed to provide chemotherapy treatment to patients due to absence of money from the facility’s cash registers.

The inspection, carried out by Deputy Health Minister Dimitris Vartzopoulos after hospital employees revealed the clinic’s decrepit state to the media, found dripping walls and ceilings and dirty toilets used by its 20 patients.

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“The truth must be told as is. Here, in the psychiatric department of the Agia Olga General Hospital, there are images that offend us,” Vartzopoulos said after the inspection earlier on Tuesday. “There is a specific issue of administrative neglect, the causes and extent of which I will immediately examine and then make recommendations to the competent minister.”

The Health Ministry said many hospitals have aging building facilities and the government has placed special emphasis on renovating and upgrading them with funds from the Recovery and Resilience Fund and the NSRF.

“Despite this, and until the modernization of their infrastructures is completed, the hospital administrations and the heads of the health districts have been strongly requested to immediately deal with any problem relating to the state of the sanitary facilities or minor damages in each area of the hospitals.” It said any costs would be covered by the Ministry of Health.

“Unfortunately, this did not happen with the psychiatric clinic of the Agia Olga hospital, as a result of which an unacceptable situation for a hospital is perpetuated, known to the hospital’s administration for years,” it added.

According to daily ethnos.gr, personnel of Agia Olga had complained several times not only about the unacceptable situation in the psychiatric clinic but also about the manager’s behavior towards them as well as some financial issues. One of them was doubling the budget for security guards from €350,000 to 700,000 euros.

Note that the both managers in Agia Olga and Metaxas were appointed by ruling New Democracy.

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One comment

  1. I know that this was probably unintentional, but calling the conditions INsanitary rather than UNSANITARY made me laugh out loud. And that it was in a psychiatric hospital made it even funnier.