Doctors Union: Greece’s State Hospitals Facing Severe Nursing Staff Shortages

The national federation of Greek hospital workers (POEDIN) has announced that at the country’s sate hospitals one in three full-time nursing positions are vacant.

The shortage of nurses mean a one nurse to 40 patient ratio at state hospitals around the country.

Not only is the shortage causing hospitals to function with dangerously understaffed levels, nurses are also “exhausted” and over-worked, POEDIN stated, adding that staff is obliged to put in a substantial amount of overtime to compensate for the shortages. Also, they mentioned that if nurses who are currently employed took their allotted vacation time as offered in their contracts, the state’s healthcare system would collapse.

The union blames cutbacks that are a result of the bailout as the source of the shortage, saying that Greece’s commitments to the international lenders are so great that drastic cutbacks have been made in the health care sector.