Ambulances to be ‘released’ from sports venues

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos proposed on Tuesday that dozens of ambulances that sit outside sports venues every week rejoin the National First Aid Center (EKAB) fleet as each vehicle could serve up to 70,000 citizens.

In a joint press conference with EKAB president Yiannis Rotziokos, Loverdos called on the managers of soccer and basketball clubs to undertake the responsibility for transferring any injured players to hospital so that EKAB vehicles are freed up.

Loverdos said the ministry would draft legislation to «disengage» ambulances from shifts at sports venues. Around 60 or so ambulances are active in Attica on Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturdays, six to seven of these are allocated to cover sporting events. On Sundays, the number goes up to 10. The sporting events to which ambulances are sent are selected from a list of around 80 that is submitted to EKAB. The venues to be guarded are chosen subject to various criteria including the relative risk of injury posed by the sport (kickboxing ranks highly) and the number of spectators anticipated.

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