In an atmosphere that has become increasingly electric before Greece’s crucial elections, the far-right Golden Dawn has ratcheted up the rhetoric by threatening to remove immigrants and their children from hospitals and kindergartens.
Earning loud applause at an election campaign rally in Athens, Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaros said,”If Chrysi Avgi [Golden Dawn] gets into parliament [as polls predict], it will carry out raids on hospitals and kindergartens and it will throw immigrants and their children out on the street so that Greeks can take their place.”
Medical supplies and beds at some hospitals are running desperately short. The governor of the state-run Nikea hospital, Theodoros Roupas, called on doctors to stop non-essential surgical interventions because of a critical shortage of gloves, syringes and gauze. The order was revoked when Roupas found emergency supplies later in the day.
“The situation is really critical and getting worse every day,” said Dr Panaghiotis Papanikolaou, a neurosurgeon at the hospital. “There is not enough medical staff to cope and huge shortages of supplies. There’s no money to even service scanners and surgical microscopes … we’re talking about a major healthcare crisis – not in the making, it is happening now.”
(source: today online)