Several Greek islands, including popular tourist destinations, do not have enough ambulances or staff to drive them, prompting local authorities to seek makeshift solutions, according to the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Workers (POEDIN).
Santorini has only seven ambulance service (EKAB) workers and Myconos only eight, while on Paros a team of nine has been working without breaks to ensure that at least one ambulance is available at any given time and on Ios there are just two EKAB staff, the federation said.
The islands of Samos, Chios and Lesvos, which have reception centers hosting thousands of migrants, have more staff but EKAB workers say they are stretched.
“Ambulances are sitting idle because there are no staff to drive them,” POEDIN said. “Mayors, priests, civil servants and often citizens drive [ambulances] without having any first-aid skills,” POEDIN added.