NEWS

Ambulance fleet in need of renewal

Greece’s ambulance service, known as EKAB, has 620 vehicles but 130 are out of commission and cannot be repaired, Parliament heard on Thursday.

MPs were briefed by EKAB chief Nikos Papaefstathiou, who said that the majority of ambulances were bought in 2003 but that some date back to 1984. He said that some ambulances clock up to 70,000 kilometers a year while some of the older ones have more than 1 million kilometers on their clocks.

He said it costs 2 million euros a year to service the ambulance fleet and that it is “as urgent as ever” for new vehicles to be purchased. EKAB’s board is due to meet next week to try to conclude a tender for 186 new ambulances that will be covered by funds from the National Strategic Reference Framework, also known as ESPA.