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Athens orders dozens of private doctors to work in hospitals

To relieve overtired hospital doctors amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Greek Health Ministry on Friday ordered 85 private doctors to report for duty.

Athens, 20 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) — To relieve overtired hospital doctors amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Greek Health Ministry on Friday ordered 85 private doctors to report for duty.

Police officers handed over the corresponding documents to the doctors, who now have to appear at the hospitals on Saturday morning, state radio reported.

The government in Athens had taken a decision the day before that made this step possible. Legal experts said those who refuse could face up to three years in prison.

Because of the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals, especially in northern Greece, have been completely overcrowded for weeks.

The government in Athens had already called on private doctors to volunteer at the beginning of November. However, only about 40 doctors had volunteered.

According to the hospital doctors’ associations, the Greek health system needs at least 150 additional doctors.

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