One in four citizens resort to private healthcare as the state health service is overburdened and understaffed, according to a 10-year study by Athens University whose results were made public yesterday. Some 25.6 percent of Greeks seek out the services of a private doctors, according to the research, carried out between 1996 and 2006. Even in the traditionally poorer agricultural regions, only 20 percent of residents chose state care. One of the main problems, according to the study, is that hospitals in Attica and the northern region of Macedonia are overburdened, serving the residents of both areas as well as a large influx of patients from elsewhere. The paradox is that many hospitals in other parts of the country have dozens of beds lying empty. The report also highlights chronic shortages in hospital staff.