A long journey to the hospital

Deputy Health Minister Thanassis Yiannopoulos yesterday met with first-aid service employees to discuss upgrading services during the Olympics, as recent research by the European Union’s statistics service indicated that most Greeks requiring hospital treatment face journeys of between 20 minutes to an hour, the longest in the EU. The Eurostat figures, which were published in yesterday’s Ta Nea daily, show that only 37.5 percent of Greece’s population has access to a hospital in under 20 minutes, while the EU average is 51.5 percent. Some 55.1 percent of all Greeks have to travel for between 20 and 59 minutes, while for 6.7 percent, the journey takes over an hour. According to Dimitris Voulis, secretary-general of the union of National First Aid Center (EKAB) workers, this is mainly due to heavy traffic in Athens and other large cities. After yesterday’s meeting, Yiannopoulos appeared optimistic as to EKAB’s performance during the Games. «The omens regarding EKAB making a good showing during the Olympics are good,» he said.

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