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Politics

Mitsotakis: Doctors Working in ICUs to Become Permanent Staff Members

November 24, 2020

ATHENS — All doctors currently working at intensive care units (ICUs) on contract will become permanent staff members of state hospitals, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Tuesday during a teleconference with the heads of Greece's seven health regions.

The positions will be announced and doctors invited to apply following a similar process held earlier in the coronavirus pandemic for all nursing and related staff, the premier said. "It is an act of recognition by the state of the great work they carried out during the pandemic, and a dire necessity to staff new ICUs opening the last few months," he explained.

The government had prioritized the increase of staff and equipment at hospitals, Mitsotakis continued, and gave an outline of the system's current numbers: 557 ICUs before the pandemic are now increased to 1,242; National Health System (NHS) staff stood at 88,690 and is now over 100,000; and the government has spent nearly 3.8 billion euros for the health sector in 2018, which rose to 4.8 billion euros in 2020.

The premier also noted that by next week, when the government will announce developments on the pandemic, there will be more data to draw on, including current initial signs of a drop in new coronavirus infections.

At the meeting, the governors of Greece's health regions provided information on hospitals and infection cases in their areas, and spoke of the pressure the system is facing to accomodate the pandemic's second wave of infections.

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