The more intensive operation of the Attikon Hospital at Haidari in western Athens over the past six months is believed to have taken much pressure off the rest of Attica’s overburdened hospitals, officials suggested yesterday. The university hospital, dubbed «the most modern hospital in Greece» by Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, received 80,764 outpatients and treated 25,907 inpatients last year, compared to 76,885 outpatients and 19,837 inpatients in 2005. The hospital, which opened in 2003, now operates 617 beds – out of a maximum capacity of 735 – compared to 335 beds last October. Since October, eight new clinics – including a cardiological unit and neurological clinic – have started operating at the Attikon. By the end of May, the hospital’s psychiatric unit is also due to start operating. «New departments are constantly opening, new staff are coming in and new equipment is being installed,» the Attikon’s director Spyros Apostolopoulos told Kathimerini. The Attikon currently has 1,272 employees, 586 of whom are nursing staff, up from a total of 952 last October. A further 150 employees are to be hired before the end of the year to staff new units. «The spectacular transformation of the Attikon is likely to change the whole landscape for state healthcare in Attica,» Apostolopoulos said. The hospital’s medical services and infrastructure will steadily upgrade the expectations of its patients jaded by the state health service, he added. According to Health Ministry sources, the hospital’s operation will have been incorporated into Attica’s duty roster program by the end of this month.