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There are already six flu victims in Greece

16 January 2016 / 14:01:44  GRReporter
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The Athens Medical Association (ISA) expressed its strong concern in respect with the flu epidemic, which is already with us. So far, 6 have died from flu complications, and 35 have been hospitalized.

ISA has cited serious shortcomings, among them the fact that this year for the first time there have been no promotion campaigns for flu vaccination. As a result, the number of vaccinated people is extremely low.

At the same time, ISA has emphasised that the public health system is falling apart, and the units of primary and secondary health care are facing serious bottlenecks. Doctors predict that the expected cases of severe complications from the flu will put a heavy burden on many of the existing health units, which are already on the brink anyway.

Athenian doctors explain that, although the flu epidemic was expected, the Ministry of Health has not moved promptly to supply hospitals with additional beds. As a result, waiting lists have dramatically swollen recently, with up to 70 patients waiting on some days. A few have died while waiting for a bed to be found for them, says ISA.

Nurses from intensive care units have also highlighted bed shortages. While quoting the recent death of a patient in Sotiria hospital, they argued that their fears for possible fatalities in understaffed care units have now materialised.

As Dimitrios Skoutelis, President of the Hellenic Nurses Association, says, "unfortunately, our fears were confirmed and the fewer beds in intensive care you have available, the more people will die." For his part, the HNA Secretary General, Aristides Daglas, argued that there is a clear-cut problem with intensive care units – and it is the shortage of staff. Therefore, the government must appoint additional medical personnel as soon as possible, he said.

Tags: flu epidemic intensive care staff shortages Medical Association
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