One in four nursing positions in Greece’s national health system is vacant, leading to some nurses having to care for more than 30 patients on each shift, unionists said on Thursday.
According to the Federation of Nursing Staff Unions (PASONOP), Greece has a total of 29,253 nurses in public healthcare when the system is designed to have 39,452. This means that only 74 percent of the positions are currently filled and the system is short of almost 10,200 staff.
“During my shift last night I had to look after 35 patients from four different clinics,” Yiannis Kanavos, a nurse at the Metaxa Oncological Hospital and PASONOP member, told Kathimerini. He also argued that the official number of nurses the health system is supposed to have is based on plans drawn up in 1986 and is insufficient for today’s challenges.
PASONOP has proposed that the Health Ministry change the way hospitals are staffed and make nursing studies compulsory for those seeking jobs in the profession.