CORONAVIRUS

Health system bracing for crucial 10 days

With high infection rate and hospitals struggling, coming period seen as make-or-break time

health-system-bracing-for-crucial-10-days

Health experts and government officials see the next 10 days as a decisive test of the National Health System’s (ESY) resilience in the fight against the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. 

There was no letup Tuesday as two records were broken with 3,586 cases confirmed and intubations climbing to 699, while 51 deaths were also reported.

Faced with mounting cases, authorities are now reportedly considering the possibility of allocating more ESY hospitals exclusively for the care of patients with coronavirus.

The Sismanogleio and the Korgialenio-Benakeio have already become Covid-19 hospitals, which since Tuesday have been reinforced with private doctors recruited by the Health Ministry – 187 out of the 206 that were ordered to do so showed up for duty.

Kathimerini understands that the Georgios Gennimatas and the Thriasio are being considered as the next in line to be converted into Covid-19 hospitals as of next week.

However, there is a glimmer of hope that the stabilizing or even declining trends in the viral load in most areas, including Attica (-27%), are indications that Greece may have seen the peak of the current pandemic outbreak.

Meanwhile, representatives of hospital doctors are sounding the alarm over what they describe as an unmanageable waiting list of patients for ICU beds and are urgently requesting that private hospitals be requisitioned.

What’s more, they also filed an indictment Tuesday with the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office regarding the treatment conditions of patients.

More specifically, the Federation of Hospital Doctors Associations of Greece stressed that on a daily basis, dozens of critically ill intubated patients are being treated outside ICUs in regular wards and on makeshift ventilators and that many of the doctors lack the necessary specialization. The responsibility for this, they said, lies solely with the government. “The government is the one that chooses to treat intubated patients outside the ICU, the government is the one that decides that Covid-19 patients are treated by doctors with irrelevant specialties,” it said, adding that “hospital doctors do not make any such choice.”

The dramatic situation was also bemoaned by representatives of public hospital employees in Attica, who said that there were more than 50 intubated Covid patients being treated outside ICUs Tuesday afternoon.