Deaths in nursing home: Greek care scandal

Police on the island of Crete have arrested the owner of a nursing home in Chania, her mother and two doctors in an investigation into dozens of deaths and dreadful living conditions at the facility. The suspects face charges including homicide, fraud and issuing false medical certificates. Media stress that the case is a call for large-scale action.

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Agonas tis Kritis (GR) /

A structural problem

Such scandals are not isolated cases, Chania's local newspaper Agonas tis Kritis points out:

“As in other European countries, controls in nursing homes in Greece are inadequate. ... The state turns a blind eye to violations due to the shortage of beds, while the homes know that the demand for their services is enormous and can't be met by existing facilities. This is the reality that made what happened at the Chania nursing home possible. And it is this reality that makes us certain that Chania is not the only case of a care home in Greece operating under such conditions. It cannot be an exception when similar phenomena have been reported in other European countries.”

News247 (GR) /

Indifference makes everyone accomplices

It is only because too many citizens look the other way that scandals can take on such proportions, columnist Elena Akrita tells News247:

“There is a reason why some people in Greece can commit a permanent crime unchallenged, such as systematically killing senior citizens in a home instead of caring for them. It lies in the mirror. ... No one asked. No one was interested. No one complained. Do you know why all this is happening right next to us? You know. You know it very well, but you mind your own damn business without caring that your indifference makes you an accomplice.”