Chemotherapy treatment “postponed” in big Athens hospital due to lack of funds

September 22, 2019

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in Attiko Hospital in Athens were shocked to be informed that their treatment is postponed on indefinite time.

The patients were informed by phone on Thursday.

Hospital workers president and doctor at Attiko ICU, Mihalis Rizos, told news outlet, that hospital employees learned form the patients about the halting of chemotherapy.

“Since Thursday and without previous warning, patients have been informed that they will not be treated. We asked for explanations from the administration where … semi-officially told us that there is a problem with the pharmacy stock. We learned it from patients who complained to us,” Rizos said.

He pointed out that the issue has probably stuck to the approval of financial funds.

Rizos explained that about 1/4 of the patients are affected and that about 25-30 appointments for chemotherapy are scheduled every day. there has been no provision that these patients receive their therapy in another hospital, he added.

It also remains unknown what will happen to patients and their scheduled treatments next week. Patients who asked when their scheduled chemotherapy would take place, they received the respond that they “will be informed.”

“Even a few days delay can relieve the disease and treatment is ineffective. It’s not like delaying taking a cholesterol pill for a few hours, ”Rizos said, stressing the importance of the problem.

He recalled that a similar problem occurred a few years ago but not at such high extend.

There was no official statement on the issue neither by the hospital administration nor by the Health Ministry.

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However, health Minister Vassilis Kikilias convened the Central Council of Health Regions on Friday afternoon. They decided to increase the credits for hospital drugs.

According to state-run news agency amna, the drug credit threshold in hospital budgets will be increased by 54.0 million euros. These increases will cover among others also the supply of oncology medicines, with the aim of providing seamless patient service.

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