An Overview of Stroke Infrastructure, Network, and Nursing Services in Contemporary Greece
This article describes the provision of stroke services in Greece and addresses the possible effects of the hospital rotation system. Unique to Greece is a centrally administered rotation system for hospital 24-hour on-call systems in the major cities. This means that a hospital may admit new patients only during specific 24-hour periods every 3 to 5 days. All Greek city hospitals must conform to this rotation basis for emergency and scheduled admissions. Patients with stroke arrive to designated rotation on-call hospital via ambulance or taxi or by private means and are first seen in the accident and emergency department where they are given priority attention accordingly and allocated to a neurology ward, medical ward, or stroke bay if the hospital has one. Occasionally, a neurosurgical consultation is sought; the patient may be admitted directly to a neurosurgery ward. Some attempts have been made to reach a degree of specialization in stroke bays, but with only a few of these, situated only in major cities, the vast majority of patients are still admitted to neurology or medical wards. Nurses and physicians in Greece continue to strive to improve outcomes for their patients with stroke despite adverse circumstances.