Increase in duty hospitals

The system for on-duty hospitals in Athens is set to be tweaked in a measure that will be combined with the hiring of hundreds of extra doctors to reduce waiting times for patients and prevent overcrowding. The Health Ministry indicated yesterday that the number of hospitals that are on duty at any given time in Attica would be increased from four to five. Authorities overhauled the duty scheme some three years ago with the main aim of reducing the number of patients that had to be treated on gurneys in hospital corridors. Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Papageorgiou said the revised system had led to the average number of gurneys on view in the corridors of state hospitals being reduced to eight per day. But he stressed that adding another hospital to the rotation scheme would help ease overcrowding even further. Papageorgiou added that several hundred new doctors would soon be employed in the state sector, beginning with 450 specialist positions that are to be filled in the coming days.