NEWS

Serious lack of coroners stirs more grief for families

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A shortage of Greek state coroners and medical examiners means that families whose relatives have died and victims of serious physical attacks have to wait even longer for the results of their examinations, Kathimerini understands.

With just 30 coroners and medical examiners employed by the state health service, including four at state hospitals, there is not always an expert at hand to conduct autopsies or medical examinations.

The entire northern region of Epirus has just one coroner, as do the regions of Central Greece and the Dodecanese islands. Cities including Arta, Kavala, Volos and Halkida have no medical examiner.

The association representing the country’s coroners gave a recent example from Messinia. “The relatives of the deceased were forced to wait several days before they could proceed with the burial as the body had to be transferred to Corinth as Kalamata’s hospital does not have a coroner,” it said. There have also been cases where rape victims have had to travel to see a medical examiner immediately after the attack.