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Society

Tourist Influx in Greece Drives Up Use of Air Ambulance Calls

ATHENS – As smaller Greek islands have a shortage of doctors and staff, so many tourists are pouring into Greece this year as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes that it’s brought a dramatic increase in the use of air ambulances for the ill or injured.

The number of missions is expected to be the highest in 10 years, said Kathimerini, noting that there were 23 alone on one day – Aug. 3 – from popular Cycladic islands as well as 11 water ambulance transports.

From the beginning of the year to the end of July, there were 571 air ambulance flights carrying 721 patients, the report said, those reserved for the most serious cases. It wasn’t said if tourists have to pay for them if they don’t have special travel insurance to cover the cost nor how much a flight is.

Those figures were more than the number of patients flown fore all of 2021 when it was 640. More than half of the air ambulance missions were carried out by the two planes and two helicopters donated to EKAB ambulance service by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the report said.

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