Portugal, estamos preparados?
...Greece's rundown state hospitals are cutting off vital drugs, limiting non-urgent operations and rationing even basic medical materials for exhausted doctors as a combination of economic crisis and political stalemate strangle health funding.
With Greece now in its fifth year of deep recession, trapped under Europe's biggest public debt burden and dependent on international help to keep paying its bills, the effects are starting to bite deeply into vital services. "It's a matter of life and death for us," said Persefoni Mitta, head of the Cancer Patients' Association, recounting the dozens of calls she gets a day from Greeks needing pricey, hard-to-find cancer drugs. "Why are they depriving us of life?"
Outside one of the 133 state hospitals - whose managers have sometimes been appointed as supporters of whichever political party was in power at the time - a banner put up by protesting staff reads "Hospitals Belong to the People". Inside, its gloomy labyrinth of corridors tell a different story.
A doctor at the university hospital in the northwestern Athens suburb of Chaidari cites a lack of basic examining room supplies in her own department, such as cotton wool, catheters, gloves and paper used to cover the examining table. The shortage of paper, which is thrown out after each patient has used it, means corners have to be cut on hygiene. "Sometimes we take a bed sheet instead and use it for several patients," said Kiki Kiale, a radiologist specializing in cancer screening. "It's tragic but there's no other solution."
Kiale, 52, said staff cutbacks and a lack of crucial equipment - including a digital mammography machine - meant some doctors were seeing 40 patients during a shift but many patients were still unable to get treatment. In the chaos, patients can slip through the cracks or turn up for treatment again only when their illness has progressed too far for them to be saved. "Some incidents are lost completely, others manage to return after a year but it's too late," said Kiale, who spent five years working in Britain's National Health Service (NHS), adding that the lack of stable government made the problem worse. ...
É fundamental antecipar em tempo oportuno os efeitos de uma crise desta natureza e das medidas tomadas para a debelar sobre o bem-estar das pessoas e a saúde das populações
Constantino Sakellarides, coordenador do OPSS
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