Health Minister Alekos Papadopoulos has repeatedly described the University Hospital of Western Attica as one of the best hospitals in Europe. It is a 66,000-square-meter building complex on a 105,000-square-meter site. Together with the Thriasio and the State Hospital of Nikaia, the new hospital will serve an estimated 1 million people in western Attica. In around 30 clinics it will have 735 beds, 69 of which are for intensive care, and 15 of which are suites. The 50 surgeries will be able to deal with 1,000 patients a day in regular morning sessions, and about 800 more in evening sessions. The departments Once it is operating at full speed, the hospital will have departments ranging from the most basic specializations to units for transplants, in vitro fertilization, physical therapy and rehabilitation with the latest equipment (swimming pools, baths, etc.) and genetic medicine. There are plans for an area for animals used in experiments. Among the expensive medical equipment are two CAT scanners, an MRI scanner and two linear accelerators. For training purposes the hospital has a 300-seat theater and smaller theaters of 100 and 50 seats. Each department will have small rooms that can be used for teaching. «We hope to have the hospital working as a major diagnostic center in June,» the hospital director, Nikolaos Polyzos, told Kathimerini. «We expect most of the outpatients’ surgeries, the radiography diagnostic department, the microbiology and hematology laboratories, and support services such as the pharmacy, stores and reception will be open. «And the rest of the clinics will start opening in September. Our aim is to have the hospital in full operation by early 2004.» At least 100 staff and about 40 doctors will be needed in the first phase. Appointing staff is so time-consuming that the initial staffing requirements will be met by secondment and transfer, and Polyzos has asked the ministry and Attica hospital administrators for help in these areas.