Κυριακή, 9 Δεκεμβρίου 2012
by JOANNA KAKISSIS
The economic crisis in Greece is strangling the country's hospitals, where budgets have been slashed by more than half. As a result, nearly all doctors in both public and private hospitals have seen their pay cut, delayed or even frozen.
"On top of that, we lack basic supplies to do our jobs," says Vangelis Papamichalis, a neurologist at the Regional Hospital of Serres in northern Greece and a member of the doctors union here. "We run out of surgical gloves, syringes, vials for blood samples and needles to sew stitches, among other things."
Last week, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said these shortages will contribute to hospital-acquired infection rates in Greece, which are already among the worst in Europe.
The Health Effects Of Unemployment
In Serres, the 100 doctors and 80 residents who work at the regional hospital often work up to 100 hours a week and see a rising number of uninsured patients for free.
The city is in a region with the same name located in the northern province of Macedonia, on the border with Bulgaria. The Regional Hospital of Serres serves the more than 200,000 people who live in the area.