Helicopters needed

Two in 10 residents of the outlying islands describe access to health services as difficult to impossible for financial and social reasons. Nearly all (94 percent) of medical services are provided by new graduate doctors doing a required year in the provinces to qualify for a residency; meanwhile, telemedicine is only available to 21 percent of the population. «Crete and Thessaloniki are just half an hour from Athens but the Aegean Islands, hours and days away,» said Professor Toutouzas. «What is needed is a good hospital in every region – every small island can’t have one. But it is unacceptable these days not to have on hand a helicopter that can be there in 15 minutes. It is also unacceptable to keep ignoring basic healthcare – that is, preventive medicine.» «For, as the Argo survey showed, we are way behind compared to other developed countries that have made great strides in this sector.»