A shining example for Greece’s state health services sector

As a resident of Athens married to a Greek lady, I try to follow the various debates concerning the quality of government services, the state of schools, and healthcare. Like most people, I tend to believe that what is on television and in the press may well be true, in the main, or possibly be exaggerated for its news «worthiness.» I can specifically remember pieces in your newspaper that were highly critical of hospital emergency room care. However, from my own experience, my treatment at KAT hospital in Maroussi was quite excellent; and I’ll relate why I believe that the Greek government hospital system is trying to uphold the principle of decent healthcare for everyone as a basic human right. I wish to thank KAT’s thorax unit, as well as its nurses and lab technicians, more specifically Dr Petros Michos, Dr Christos Hatziantoniou, Dr Christos Baltas and Dr Dimitrios Lambrou. There were others too, whose names I can’t recall. Please excuse me. Late in the afternoon of May 18, a big horse named Legend decided he didn’t want me on his back any longer. I fell very hard, but without losing consciousness. But because I hurt so on my right side, it was decided I had to get to a hospital. The National First Aid Service (EKAB) collected me out in Varibombi, checked my vital signs, and gave me an injection. On arrival, some 20 minutes later, I was pushed through a large crowd of patients with all manner of problems and was hooked up to an IV. My vital signs were checked again and I was given at least one more injection. After 10 minutes or so, Dr Lambrou was checking over me. Some X-rays were taken, which showed broken ribs; and Lambrou, noting my poor color, correctly suspected that a lung was injured as well. He took me into a room, expertly aspirated air out of my lung cavity where the lung was partially collapsed, and then emplaced a drainage tube for blood and body fluids. For the next eight days the tube was connected to a plastic container resembling a car battery. For the next 12 days I was administered large amounts of antibiotics, blood thinner, painkillers, a lot of moisturized oxygen, and almost daily X-rays. The doctors followed my progress closely and I was released on May 30. I have had an outpatient X-ray and a doctor’s exam, and the prognosis is good… or so it appears. I say «Bravo» for KAT hospital in Maroussi. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And, need I say, the cost was but a fraction of what it would have been in the USA. WES JOHNSON, Kifissia.

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