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Greek Health System at Crisis Point as Covid Patients Fill ICU's

File photo. Credit: AMNA

Greece’s spike in intubated patients suffering from the coronavirus has led to a strain on the country’s public health system. As of Sunday, out of a total of 1,063 ICU beds throughout the country, only 329 are still available for use.
The government’s assessment is that, despite the rapid increase in new cases and intubated patients, the health system will win its race against time, provided the necessary resilience is shown in the next few months, by which time a coronavirus vaccine may be available.
However, experts warn that in the coming days an increase in cases and hospital admissions is expected.
Of the 420 ICUs intended exclusively for patients with Covid, 259 are occupied. In the hospitals of Attica, 112 out of a total of 168 ICU’s are currently occupied.
The situation is becoming critical in northern Greece. The total number of ICU beds intended for patients with Covid serving the needs of Thessaloniki (including the Halkidiki and Kavala Hospitals) are currently 124. Of these, 93 are occupied and 31 are currently vacant.
300 new doctors hired
The Health Ministry on Sunday announced the hiring of 300 doctors who will be given permanent positions to staff the country’s ICUs.
In addition to the 200 positions envisaged in the original call for applications, permanent jobs will also be given to the 100 runners-up, the Ministry said.
All 300 will be able to report to the hospitals on Monday and begin working, it added.
There are also plans to further utilize military and private hospitals, and to open new intensive care beds.
In the worst-case scenario, special wards such as those reserved for heart surgery patients and operating theaters will be converted into ICUs.

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