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Greek Islands Travel

Zante hospital could close

Zakynthos Hospital

Zante hospital could close tourists warned.

Holiday visitors to the Greek Islands may not find the best of health care should they fall ill while abroad. Government funding cuts are having a serious impact with claims that the general hospital on Ionian island of Zakynthos is close to breaking point just the latest in a series of health warnings across the islands.

It is claimed by senior medical staff that the Zakynthos hospital may have to close unless it receives more funding.

The hospital on Zakynthos is currently running at 60% capacity with most beds taken up by elderly patients requiring immediate medical care.

Medics claim the hospital has run out of heating oil and has been forced to reduce meals served to patients because of a serious cash shortage.

The hospital says it cannot play cleaning staff, has been forced to cancel several surgeries and is quickly running out of drugs.

They fear the start of the tourist holiday season at Easter will bring more visitors to the island and put even more strain on its only hospital.

It follows alarm on the island of Symi earlier this year when the island's only doctor was moved to neighbouring Leros and patients were forced to travel to Athens to get vital drugs when supplies ran out.

On Patmos a doctor has pleaded to help after complaining that she was on continuous 24-hour call and that she was reaching her limits of endurance.

She pleaded for a second rural doctor to be posted on the island "because my physical and mental fatigue after continuous call for so long can be fatal in the management of an incident".

Austerity measures have led to major cutback in many health and social services across Greece with health centres on many Greek islands being badly hit.

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