Doctors and workers at the Sotiria Hospital in the northern Athenian suburb of Holargos were on strike on Tuesday and refused to take in emergency cases, in protest at the planned merger of Sotiria with the nearby Geniko Kratiko hospital.
A group of a few dozen protesting workers and doctors stormed the office of the president of the board of directors of Geniko Kratiko, Giorgos Papadopoulos, who also runs Sotiria following the merger of the two hospitals’ administrations.
The merger of Sotiria and Genimata is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of 2013 in one of a number of such moves announced by the Health Ministry to streamline operations and cut costs.
Speaking on Skai Television on Tuesday morning, the director of Sotiria’s Medical Service, Dimitris Valdekis, warned that the merger will mean fewer beds and that Sotiria was the foremost specialized lung hospital in the capital, treating patients from all over the south of Greece.
Hospital workers have also said that they have not been paid emergency duty wages for the past four months, and are protesting horizontal pay cuts across the Greek public sector.