On Wednesday, hospital workers in Greece accused the conservative government of reserving beds in intensive care units for “critical patients,” as the Greeks now call VIP-ICU.
The accusations come from the fact that more than 100 intubated patients were “treated” outside intensive care units in hospitals across the country.
President of the Federation of Hospital Workers (POEDIN). Michalis Giannakos said on Wednesday that of the 647 intensive care beds operating for Covid-19 patients across the country, about 7%, that is, a total of 47 beds remain inaccessible to ordinary citizens because they are reserved for VIP patients.
In conversation with Skai tv Giannakos said VIP-ICUs, for example, are available at the State Red Cross Hospital (Erythros Stavros) in Athens, as well as the KAT Hospital with two reserved intensive care beds.
As an example, he cited a 58 and 59-year-old couple who are currently intubated outside the intensive care unit at Nikaya General Hospital, patients who were not transferred to KAT on Tuesday night despite the urgency.
“There are only non-VIP patients on resuscitation waiting lists. There are no bishops or famous personalities,” he said, referring to a recent incident with 80 years old bishop, infected with Covid-19, for whom a bed in Athens was found within a few hours, thereby skipping the queue for a patient from the hospital in Agrinio.
Citing official figures, Giannakos added that 114 intubated patients were outside intensive care units across the country on Wednesday morning.
“If you are over 70, you will not get an ICU bed unless you are a bishop or a VIP,” Yiannakos said in an interview with Mega TV.
The Ministry of Health’s response was sluggish and vague, explaining how the system works. The minister Thanos Pleuris denied the accusations, stating that the VIP-ICU’s claim was “fake news.” He urged people and critics to “ask doctors” about this.
He added that it is the doctors who register patients in intensive care on the EKAB ambulance service platform. “All hospitals with empty ICU beds check doctors’ requests and admit patients based on medical criteria,” he said.
Government spokesman Yiannis Ikonomou told Skai TV: “If there is evidence, it should be condemned and carried out without a doubt. There are only health reasons why intubated patients need resuscitation to be transferred to resuscitation. “
At least one doctor, Matina Pagoni, told the media (Mega TVv) that Yiannakos’s claims were untrue and that doctors were not guided by medical criteria.
However, hospital doctors have no way of knowing what hospital leaders are doing or whether there is a political decision on the matter, as some media have suggested.
In a country where an average of 100 Covid patients have died every day in the past couple of weeks, there have been rumors of VIP-ICUs claiming that “politicians, clergy and publishers” always find a bed following the case of an anti-Axer metropolitan and a prominent journalist.
Το 7% των covid-ΜΕΘ κρατιούνται ως καβάτζα για παπάδες, πολιτικούς & εκδότες ενώ την ίδια ώρα περισσότεροι από 100 ασθενείς καθημερινά περιμένουν κρεβάτι ΜΕΘ & ένας άνθρωπος πεθαίνει κάθε 12 λεπτά # vipΜΕΘ
? ️Η κυβέρνηση στην θέση της
⚖️Η δικαιοσύνη απούσα
? Ο λαός στον ύπνο του
– ?? ?? ? ️? (@ jodigraphics15) December 8, 2021
However, Giannakos’ revelations about the VIP-ICU sparked outrage on social media, and some Greeks commented humorously:
ΜΕΘ υπάρχουν, εσείς δεν είστε VIP
– Dirty Frank (@ yioults1) December 8, 2021
“There are intensive care beds. You are not a VIP. “
PS Another possible explanation for the emergence of reserved beds in intensive care units may be that they are donated, but there is no medical and nursing staff to service them.