February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Hospitals in Athens: stretcher in Covid clinics, 20 hours waiting for transfer

Hospitals in Athens are overwhelmed as a cocktail of infections such as Covid-19, influenza and seasonal viruses refer more and more patients to public health services.

The situation is described as rather chaotic, with patients having to spend endless hours on gurneys in the corridors of clinics or in emergency rooms due to a lack of available beds. Patients in emergency situations can wait up to 20 hours to be transferred to another clinic. Not to mention the endless long lines in which patients – or, at best, their attendants – stand for an appointment ticket or a coupon for a scheduled appointment with a doctor.

It is significant that in some hospitals in the capital, even in covid clinics, gurneys have been placed in the corridors, since there are not enough beds for coronavirus patients to meet demand. “Ethnos” in an exclusive report on Friday. The situation in public hospitals in Attica, especially in the center of Athens, is dramatic as no covid beds have been opened so far to meet the growing demand. Eventually their numbers were limited when the big wave of the pandemic passed.

Waiting on a stretcher up to 20 hours

At the Agia Olga hospital, the administration even placed a stretcher in the corridor of the covid ward, where patients infected with coronavirus but not intubated are hospitalized. According to Ethnos, the problem starts with most hospitals in Attica not having enough beds in covid wards, despite the fact that the number of cases began to increase dramatically. As a result, the hospital authorities are trying to transfer patients with Covid-19 to other medical facilities. where there are available beds. Therefore, emergency patients have to wait up to 20 hours to be transferred to another hospital. Their suffering is indescribable, as most of the time they are left waiting in the corridor or in the emergency room, spending almost a day on an uncomfortable stretcher, until an ambulance from EKAV takes them to another hospital facility.

At Sismanoglio Hospital, during a general watch on Jan. 9, 38 patients were “stuck” in emergency departments (EDs) to receive treatment. The hospital was overcrowded and there was no room for patients in the short term hospitalization ward. However, even two days after being on duty, 26 patients were still in the emergency room, hospital workers told ethnos.gr. All the beds in the covid wards in Sismanoglio, as well as in Evangelismos, the Red Cross, Gennimatas and other hospitals are overcrowded.

Changes in the schedule of duty in hospitals

To normalize the situation, the leadership of the Ministry of Health is trying to change the system of duty in the hospitals of Attica, as the current system (again?) does not work. A new plan is reported to keep the hospitals in the center of Athens from being as overcrowded with patients and sufferers, while the regional hospitals are showing less congestion. In addition, this phenomenon has intensified recently due to viruses, influenza and cases of Covid-19, as a result of which the situation has become explosive. The Ministry of Health requested from the responsible persons of the regional health departments a complete plan for changes in duty.

It is worth noting that the Minister of Health, Thanos Pleuris, two days ago, in a television interview, argued that there was no need to change the schedule of duty in hospitals in the center of Athens. He insisted that this was not necessary, although he was reminded that patients seeking emergency care should wait at least 6, but even 10 or up to 16 hours.

To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to his arguments as he is known for representing black as white and has no idea how hospitals and the healthcare sector in general work.

PS “There was no such thing, and here it is again,” as a well-known Russian politician used to say. Real life again showed all the unprofessionalism of the employees and management of the Ministry of Health, despite the past 2 years of the pandemic. Unfortunately, in the current form of government, there is no responsibility for poor or unprofessional leadership of the country, except that you will not be elected in the next elections.

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