One in four intensive care beds not used

Almost one in four beds in hospital intensive care units are off-limits to patients due to a lack of nursing staff, according to data presented by the Hellenic Association of Intensive Care yesterday. Some 500 beds in intensive care units at different hospitals across the country are currently in operation with another 150 having been shut down due to staff shortages. The bed shortage means that 4,500 patients are left without the required intensive care treatment every year with many of them, about 2,000, at risk of losing their lives due to a lack of proper medical help. Budget cuts are also responsible for the low number of nursing staff attending to each patient in intensive care, resulting in poor quality services being offered and staff suffering from burnout before ultimately resigning, officials added.