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Greece Will Overhaul COVID-Besieged Public Health System, Hospitals

ATHENS – After suffering through a near-decade long economic and austerity crisis that brought big budget cuts – and then the brutal COVID-19 pandemic – Greece’s public health system will be reorganized.

Alternate Health Minister Dr. Mina Gaga presented the plan to physician Members of Parliament of the ruling New Democracy at the party’s headquarters, calling it a “road map,” said Kathimerini.

Its’ aim is to restructure operation of the country’s health centers and hospitals after it was previously reported that another plan would put in place to deal with hospital-borne infections that have even caused deaths.

Read more: First Fines for Greece’s Unvaccinated Over-60’s Now Imposed

The plan, the paper said, will use funds from the European Union backed Recovery and Resilience Facility to connect small regional hospitals with larger ones in cities in a so-called hub-and-spoke organization design.

The model will use an anchor facility that has a full array of services, backed up by smaller units with which have fewer as a number of hospitals were turned into dealing only with COVID cases for now.

Gaga also referred to medical specialties, saying that the way new doctors choose specialties will be changed so that more are trained to deliver services that are needed rathern their own choices, after the pandemic revealed a shortage of anesthesiologists.

Read more: Deadly Delta Keeps Grip on Greece, Health Restrictions Extended

Medical students who get a free education at state schools will be able to choose their specialities only if they achieve higher grades and others will be assigned their training path.

Gaga also said another 4,000 health care workers, 910 administrative and other staff and 700 doctors will be added after the economic crisis saw hundreds leave for other countries.

The woeful state of the infrastructure of even the best hospitals, that even hadn’t had toilet paper, soap or paper towels will be improved, it was said, and new units built or additions put on.

That’s for the Evangelismos, Thriasio and Sotiria hospitals in Athens, Papageorgiou and Ippokrateio hospitals in Thessaloniki, as well as the General Hospital of Lamia, and the university hospitals of Patra and Iraklio.

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