PANDEMIC

Health system bolstered as virus spreads

health-system-bolstered-as-virus-spreads

As the battle against the coronavirus enters what experts are calling its most decisive stage, the Health Ministry is activating an emergency plan for the national health system (ESY) that entails a series of “fortification measures.”

Kathimerini understands that in addition to the recruitment of private doctors, the plan provides for cooperation with private and military hospitals for the provision of infrastructure and medical staff to ESY. It also entails mergers of clinics in ESY hospitals and staff transfers “from department to department,” but also between the hospitals depending on needs.

The plan is being implemented as the health system’s endurance is being tested by an increase in hospital admissions of patients with Covid-19 and the absences of medical staff due to illness. Indicatively, new hospitalizations rose from 370 a day on average from December 25-31 to 505 on January 1-6. Last Thursday, meanwhile, there were about 2,500 health workers quarantined due to illness.

“The absences of health workers due to illness so far concerns about 1.5% to 2.5% of the total ESY workforce. The percentage is predictable, but it is not catastrophic to the operation of the system,” Deputy Health Minister Mina Gaga told Kathimerini.

Meanwhile, health authorities are expected in the coming days to approve a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine for the immunocompromised. The chair of the National Vaccination Committee, professor of pediatrics Maria Theodoridou, told Kathimerini that at present the committee is not considering a fourth dose for the general population.