Vital need for vascular disease checkups

Ignorance and poor organization of health services cost hundreds of lives every year in Greece to strokes and ruptured aneurysms, the leading causes of death in adults in the European Union. Although vascular surgery was established as a medical specialization in 1989 in large areas of Greece, such as the Peloponnese and Western Greece, but also at large hospitals in Attica, no vascular surgery clinics have been set up. There are no vascular surgery departments at Evangelismos, Tzanneio, the General State Hospital of Nikaia, Asklipeio, Thriasio, Aghia Sofia and Aglaia Kyriakou children’s hospitals, or Patras, Ioannina and Larissa university hospitals. Professor Christos Liapis, head of Athens University’s vascular surgery clinic and president of the European Vascular Surgery Association, spoke to Kathimerini about these problems. «This huge lack isn’t covered by the presence of a specialized doctor at a hospital,» he explained. «It requires hospital coverage 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Obviously there isn’t time to move patients from one hospital to another or from one area to another. The large hospitals of Attica, and the regional and university hospitals must acquire organized centers, especially considering the large number of traffic accidents which call for the services of a vascular surgeon.»