Issues regarding water ambulance brought to Marine Minister’s attention
CORFU. The Ambulance Service (EKAB) Employees΄ Union met with the Minister of Mercantile Marine and Island Policy Yannis Plakiotakis.
The Union announced the following:
Following a request to the Corfu ND MP Stefanos Gikas, the Corfu Ambulance Service (EKAB) Employees' Union met with him, as well as the Minister of Mercantile Marine and Island Policy Yannis Plakiotakis during his visit in Corfu for the inauguration ceremony of the water ambulance, in order to discuss our concerns regarding the water ambulance's operation and its staffing with EKAB paramedics.
The EKAB is the only provider of pre-hospital emergency care in Greece and, therefore, our concerns were brought to the Minister’s attention.
The arrival of the first water ambulance can only be viewed positively and, at last, the transfer of patients will be done with professionalism, dignity and, above all, as planned.
However, there are still no updates regarding whether there will be EKAB staff on the water ambulance to provide assistance and, thus, we asked the Minister the following questions.
a) Who will provide first aid and, in particular, pre-hospital emergency care in case, for example, of a maritime accident?
b) Who will be by the patient’s side until the latter is transferred to the nearest health centre?
c) Who will check the vessel's medical equipment (oxygen masks, cannulas, electrodes or defibrillator batteries, feeding tubes, oxygen devices, etc.) as well as the proper functioning of the vessel's medical machines?
From the abovementioned questions, two more questions arise:
a) In case the accompanying doctor is from the Diapontia Islands, will the island remain with no doctor until they return?
b) Will the doctor return soon with the Coastguard boat?
The Minister listened to the questions that were raised very carefully and said that they are very reasonable and that he will contact the EKAB President in order to address these issues.
Our Union is asking that the water ambulances be staffed with EKAB paramedics and that the ambulance that we now have on our island be used for the purpose it was built for, i.e to provide life support to patients and not just be a means of transport.