Three state hospitals began offering paid afternoon consultations yesterday with members of their medical staff, in what Deputy Health Minister Hector Nasiokas said was the first step toward public hospitals being open all day. At Athens’s Ippocrateio Hospital there were four doctors on duty yesterday afternoon, though no patients turned up to avail themselves of the service. However, hospital sources said that at least 15 appointments had been made for today. The other two hospitals that opened yesterday in the afternoon were the Prefectural Hospital on Patission Street and the state hospital in Lamia, central Greece. The directors of most Athens hospitals say they will be read to implement the service by the end of the month. Nasiokas, who visited the Ippocrateio yesterday, said that despite opposition to the plan, chiefly on the part of some doctors, his ministry was determined to fight the «civil service mentality» at the country’s hospitals. «We can’t have a situation where only 10 scans are done every day in a state hospital compared to 40 in private clinics,» he said. Anomeritis said that many ships rushed to the scene in heavy weather, and that a Singapore-flagged ship, the Aspen, which is about 250 meters long, served as protection from the weather for the small boat which some reports described as being about 40 meters long. A team of engineers from the British navy ship the HMS Beagle, which was in the region, boarded the mystery ship and repaired one of its two engines, allowing it to continue on its own steam toward Ierapetra, on the Cretan coast.