"Corfu and it's Health care system" Corfu Island Travelogue by ricky52

Corfu Island Travel Guide: 383 reviews and 1,245 photos

Week 2, the start of our holiday proper.

Today we had a gentle stroll up to the car hire shop, we had arranged to pick the car up in the morning.
On our way back we stopped at Tet A Tet to have a drink and a light lunch.
We had a decent rest and the lunch was nice, I had just got the bill when Sheila said she did not feel too well.
She said that she had got very hot suddenly and felt a tingling sensation running up through her body starting at her toes.
Within 5 minutes she was struggling to breath and felt if someone was sat on her chest.
A local doctor was called but Sheila's problem was beyond his scope as he was a child doctor. Another local doctor was called and he tried to stabalise Sheila. He went back to his practice to get some oxygen but by the time he returned Sheila was unconscious. An ambulance had been called but it had to come from Corfu Town 36 kilometers away.
We set off for the hospital with the two paramedics up front however after about 10 minutes, the ambulance stopped and one of the paramedics got into the back and the driver thaen drove like a bat out of hell to get to the hospital. This was the moment that worried me the most, why the sudden urgency to get there.

Corfu General Hospital

We arrived at the hospital and Sheila was taken into A&E.
By this time Sheila had come around a little and was able to tell the doctors the problem.
We had been there for about an hour and Sheila was still out of it a bit when we mentioned that 7 years earlier she had a double DVT.
All of a sudden there was a rush of activity and her symtoms were now begining to make some sense.
She was admitted to the hospital and sent to the cardiac ward.

Cardiac unit

Sheila was confined to bed on Monday & Tuesday.
Wednesday she could sit on the edge of her bed.
Thursday & Friday she was allowed to walk around the ward and no further.
Monday & Tuesday nights, Sheila had to be watched. I was able to do this Monday night but by Tuesday afternoon, I was knackered, 32 hours without sleep meant that I had to return to my appartment.
I had to pay for a nurse to sit with Sheila on Tuesday night at a cost of ?77.
Sheila had to have two further tests that could not be done at the hospital and were done at private clinics at a cost of ?290.
Without these tests, Sheila would not have permission to fly.

General care

Let me first say that this travelogue is not meant to be at all critical of Corfu General Hospital or it's staff, in fact the reverse.
The were superb and medically perfect.

The problem (unless you live in Greece) is the level of care you would expect at home is very different to what you will get in a Greek hospital.

It is expected for family or friends to take control of the patient's day to day care. The hospital never locks its door because family members turn up at all hours to tend to their relative. Just outside the main entrance there is a little shop where you can buy most of the common stuff you would need, water & snacks etc.
The only drink the patient is offered is at breakfast where you can have a glass of warm milk of tea, no other drinks are offered and it is down to your visitors to make sure you have enough to drink.
Food is typical of hospital food and is cooked without any seasoning whatsoever (this place is the only place on Earth where they can cook the taste out of a carrot)
Don't expect a nurse to come round and fuss over you and fluff up your pillow, this is never going to happen but they will look after you medically.
If you are a single traveller, I don't know how you would get on if you were unable to get out and get yourself water etc.
I have got to say that the other patient's and their family members are great. An elderly woman's son soon realised that Sheila was not eating and in the morning he used to bring his Mother some fresh bread (still warm from the bakery) he would cut a couple of chunks off, butter them and spread some local honey and gave them to Sheila (was she pleased)

I think the thing that upset us more than anything about the patients care was on the Friday that Sheila left the hospital, the elderly woman's son had returned at lunch time to feed her.
His Mother was incontinent and needed her pad changing; this was left for her son to do. This is not something a son should have to do for his own Mother.

High blood pressure

As I m not a doctor, I can only pass on advice given by one.

If you suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension and take the drug Ramipril or something similar, consult your doctor before you go to a country that is normally warmer than your own.

Sheila's doctor told us, people who use such drugs and then come to a country that is normally warmer than their own, run the risk of their blood pressure being too low. Apparently when you visit such countries, your blood pressure will drop and taking your medicine for high blood pressure and hypertension could lower your blood pressure to an unsafe level.

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (1)

  • Benson35's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Bloody 'ell Ricky! You wern't wrong when you said it were a 'interesting' holiday!
    Hayley :)


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