Millions of euros in emergency funding will be made available to two cash-strapped university hospitals in Athens, the Aretaio and the Aiginiteio, Vassilis Papazoglou, a high-ranking official of the Education Ministry which finances the institutions, told Skai on Tuesday.
The Aiginiteio – which specializes in psychiatric treatment – and the Aretaio – which focuses on surgery are to receive 4 million euros each, about a third of the hospitals? annual budgets, said Papazoglou, the ministry?s special secretary for higher education.
According to Papazoglou, both the institutions have been deprived of the funding they are supposed to receive for treating the homeless and other uninsured patients since 1998. He called on the Health Ministry to increase funding for the wages of specialist doctors working at the two hospitals and called for the drafting of a rescue plan to save the two institutions which are struggling to survive due to a lack of supplies and funding.
It emerged on Monday that the hospitals, both owned by Athens University and funded by the Education Ministry, had stopped accepting new patients due to a lack of food and medicines. Meanwhile staff at both hospitals have been holding work-to-rule protests, demanding several months in unpaid wages.
The budget for the hospitals – 12 million euros apiece – have been trimmed as part of a broader cost-cutting drive.