On November 20th local time, the Greek government announced the requisition and takeover of two private hospitals in Thessaloniki, the second largest city, because the two hospitals failed to provide 200 beds dedicated to receiving COVID-19 patients as required by the Greek Ministry of Health.
At present, the epidemic situation in northern Greece is so serious that the public hospitals in Thessaloniki city are no longer able to receive a large number of COVID-19 patients. In order to admit more patients with COVID-19 to hospital treatment, the hospital needs to empty beds from other departments, and even need to set up tents to set up COVID-19 isolation wards. In response to the emergency, the Greek Ministry of Health requires local private hospitals to provide a certain number of beds to receive patients with COVID-19.
Private hospitals responded that they have been receiving non-COVID-19 patients from public hospitals to help public hospitals free up more beds for COVID-19 patients. At present, private hospitals are not ready to set up special wards for COVID-19 patients.
The head of the Pan-Greek Association of Private Hospitals and Clinics said private hospitals refused to respond to the government’s request because they lacked facilities to separate COVID-19 patients from other patients, as well as lack of expertise and training to deal with the disease.
After the Greek government forcibly incorporated the two private hospitals into the national health system, in addition to administrative supervision of the hospital management, all facilities and resources, including beds, will be redistributed for at least two weeks, which will be used to provide services to the public.