ICU units unable to meet demand

The intensive-care units of the country?s state hospitals are not able to cover patients? needs due to staff shortages and a lack of equipment, doctors have told Kathimerini.

Out of 650 ICUs, around 70 are not operational due to equipment shortages while many others are losing nursing staff as hundreds of short-term contracts that expire are not being renewed.

According to Apostolos Armaganidis, a professor at the Athens Medical School and president of the Hellenic Society of Intensive Care Medicine, the number of ICUs available in Greek hospitals is significantly below the European Union average.

?If more staff are not recruited, more units will close,? he said. Armaganidis called on the Health Ministry to draft ?a realistic plan, with a concrete time-frame, to double the number of intensive-care units in operation.?

He also suggested that certain patients who are on respirators could receive treatment from home to free up beds.

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