State hospitals found dirty

Just days after health inspectors revealed squalid conditions at retirement homes in Athens, the results of checks made public yesterday uncovered serious breaches of cleanliness, including cockroach-infested kitchens, at some of the capital’s largest public hospitals. Teams of inspectors from the Prefecture of Athens conducted tests at 25 state hospitals within Attica over a three-month period. At one of the city’s flagship hospitals, Evangelismos, inspectors confiscated 13.5 kilos of rotten chicken that had been frozen after their expiry date had passed. They also seized 56 kilos of mashed potatoes which were also past their sell-by date. At another key Athens hospital, the Geniko Laiko, inspectors confiscated 105 kilos of packaged pork that did not have any labeling and found both live and dead cockroaches in the kitchen. Cockroaches were also found at the Andreas Syngrou Hospital. The managers of the three hospitals have been made aware of the findings and ordered to improve conditions but there was not mention of any fines. «I hope the managers take on board the observations made by the inspectors and correct the problems that have been detected,» said Athens Prefect Yiannis Sgouros. «Naturally, similar checks will continue in the future.» Although problems were found at other hospitals, such as a lack of checks on the health booklets of employees and the use of poor-quality cooking utensils, inspectors said that the overall standard of cleanliness was «satisfactory.» Last month, prefecture officials found that 13 retirement homes in Athens had breached health and food regulations by housing elderly people in often squalid conditions.

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