A 19-year-old pregnant woman has died on Tuesday morning while waiting for an ambulance. Both the mother in the 8th month of pregnancy and her unborn baby passed away in Nea Makri, eastern Attica, just 37 km away from the center of Capital Athens.
Speaking to media, the relatives said they first called the National Ambulance Service EKAV at 8:30 in the morning, while the First Aid vehicle arrived after 1 o’ clock noon 5 hours later.
According to sources from EKAV, the incident was not initially considered a high priority as they receive a significant number of similar calls.
The incident was classified as an "exertion of forces" and was not urgent. As a result, an ambulance from the Nea Makri Health Center did not immediately attend the scene.
The incident resulting in the death of a 19-year-old pregnant woman occurred just two days after a 63-year-old woman died on the back of a pick-up truck on the Island of Kos, as the only ambulance was busy with another incident.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. After public uproar, the Athens prosecutor ordered an urgent investigation into the incident and the delayed ambulance response.
EKAV representatives have blamed the lack of proper information supplied by callers, including the relatives of the pregnant woman, for the delay in ambulance response time.
The Health Ministry has launched an investigation into the incident and wider patient transportation issues. The relevant investigation is due to be completed before any responsibilities can be assigned.