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Society

Hurting Greek Psychiatric Hospitals Hit Panic Button

November 18, 2019

ATHENS – While Greece is slowly recovering from a more than 9 1/2-year-long economic and austerity crisis, the country’s three main psychiatric hospitals in the still-understaffed health sector have gotten so bad they are in crisis, facing eroding infrastructure and equipment shortages, officials said.

Some 10,000 patients are admitted to the Dafni and Dromokaiteio psychiatric hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki Psychiatric Hospital each year, most of whom have been sent there by court order but officials there said they can’t cope, said Kathimerini.

Staff at Dromokaiteio said the facility is like a Third World country and are ready to take action and demand more resources, the paper said, with the union of workers at the hospital saying that the “situation that is out of control.”

While the hospital is supposed to have 1,450 staff members to ensure its efficient operation, there are currently only 400, less than third of what is needed and union representatives said the number patients being admitted annual in recent years has jumped to 3,000 compared to about 1,000 prior to 2010 when the crisis first began.

New Democracy took over from the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA in July 7 snap elections but hasn’t said what it would do about improving health care or if the budget would be increased any.

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