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Uniformed healthcare workers danced to a guitar in the lobby of the facility during operating hours

A video depicting medical personnel dancing to live music against the backdrop of a patient on a stretcher in a Greek hospital went viral and sparked outrage after it was shared by an MP for the opposition SYRIZA party, Pavlos Polakis, on Friday. The Health Ministry has launched an investigation.

The footage, posted on X (formerly Twitter), showed uniformed doctors dancing and clapping their hands in front of musicians singing and playing guitars, as a stretcher carrying a sick patient rolled by.

Polakis, a former Deputy Health Minister, described the scene as “the ultimate humiliation.”

“On duty day at the Red Cross hospital, a party with instruments in the central corridor where patients pass by!!!!” Polakis wrote, saying he wished it had happened when he worked at the ministry.

The event reportedly took place on December 20 at the Athens General Hospital “Korgialenio-Benakio” and was allegedly organized by its administrator, Elpiniki Tavianatou, News 24/7 reported on Friday. Staff received written and electronic invitations to the reception area of the central building for a Christmas party with a buffet and live folk music during working hours, the outlet said.

After video of the party was widely circulated on social media, the Ministry of Health announced on Friday that an internal investigation would be conducted into the incident. Prior to that, there had been “no reaction” from the authorities, according to News 24/7.

A representative for the hospital workers, Voula Georgaki, explained the situation in an interview with local TV. She claimed that such a celebration has been held every year, even during Polakis’ time at the Ministry of Health, as quoted by News 24/7. 

Georgaki reportedly added that the location of the event was not an emergency department. She also claimed that the medical personnel had only danced to two songs and that the patient, who was being carried on a stretcher, “asked to pass by” to listen to the carols, according to the outlet.

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