Hospitals hit by chronic staff shortages

Hospitals hit by chronic staff shortages

The federation representing Greece’s public hospital workers (POEDIN) on Thursday released new figures revealing chronic understaffing that, it says, is crippling the operation of the state health sector.

"Every day they announce new recruitments but in reality the number of health sector staff under Tsipras has reduced by 2,000," POEDIN said in a statement, accusing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of going back on his promises.

A total of 15,000 staff currently work in Greek hospitals with 35,000 posts vacant, the federation said, noting that staff numbers have dwindled by 15,000 since 2013.

Giving the Ionian island of Zakynthos as an example to illustrate the impact of the shortages, POEDIN said ambulances often sit unused as there are not enough staff on duty. Of the 60 administrative positions at hospitals on the island, 35 are vacant, it said.

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