NEWS

State psychiatric hospitals send out distress signals

PENNY BOULOUTZA

TAGS: Health

Greece’s three main psychiatric hospitals are reportedly in crisis mode due to an increasing influx of patients, understaffing, a lack of funding, crumbling infrastructure as well as severe equipment shortages.

Some 10,000 patients are admitted to the Dafni and Dromokaiteio psychiatric hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki Psychiatric Hospital each year, most of whom have been sent there by court order.

But the hospitals do not have the infrastructure and staff to cope.

A case in point is the situation at the Dromokaiteio, where staff say they are struggling under “Third World conditions” and are ready to take action.

Referring to the acute staff shortage, the union of workers at the hospital bemoan a “situation that is out of control.”

Although the hospital is supposed to have 1,450 staff members to ensure its efficient operation, there are currently only 400.

Union representatives also say that in recent years about 3,000 patients have been admitted to the Dromokaitio annually, compared to 1,000 in the pre-crisis years.

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