Health ser­vice in crit­i­cal state due to acute short­ages

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Na­tional Health Sys­tem (ESY) is in a crit­i­cal state, Health Min­is­ter An­dreas Xan­thos ad­mit­ted in an in­ter­view with Kathimerini, as it emerges that hun­dreds of hospi­tal de­part­ments and clin­ics are on the point of clo­sure.

“A large num­ber of clin­ics have barely enough staff, so the small­est loss could up­set the bal­ance,” Xan­thos said.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures, there are more than 20,000 va­cant doc­tor and nurs­ing po­si­tions across the health ser­vice. The gov­ern­ment has her­alded the re­cruit­ment of 3,400 peo­ple through 2016 but those hir­ings will ease rather than solve the cri­sis.

Of the 20,239 va­can­cies, 6,197 are doc­tors’ jobs and 14,042 are nurs­ing po­si­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the union rep­re­sent­ing state hospi­tal em­ploy­ees (POEDIN), nearly half the coun­try’s health cen­ters are not op­er­a­tional as their staff have been re­lo­cated to state hos­pi­tals in a bid to plug gaps. The sit­u­a­tion on sev­eral Greek is­lands is par­tic­u­larly dire with some, in­clud­ing Corfu and Icaria, lack­ing key spe­cial­ists.

A ma­jor prob­lem per­pet­u­at­ing the dead­lock is the fact that more than 20,000 ESY staff have re­tired since the start of the cri­sis; thou­sands more have not had their con­tracts re­newed (with an­other 700 con­tracts set to ex­pire at the end of the year). A steady ex­o­dus of work­ers seek­ing bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties abroad has com­pounded the prob­lem, the min­is­ter said. “We must con­vey the mes­sage that young doc­tors can have a de­cent fu­ture.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.