Intended for healthcare professionals


Bacteria in hospital . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 05 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:i6825

I disagree: superbugs are engineered by staff antibiotic over-prescriptions

Dear Editors,
Thousands of patients hospitalized in various Departments of Greek public hospitals, every year, acquire severe nosocomial infections.
Greece ranks first in the EU in hospital-acquired infections [3][1][10][14][15][19][20], and antibiotic use [13].
More than 50% of microorganisms implicated appear resistant to all available antibiotics. [5][22]
Such elevated antibiotic resistance from dangerous superbugs was declared a 'national threat' to NHS systems abroad, which receive tourists or patients treated in Greek public hospitals and return, carrying and spreading, deadly infections. [6][7][8][9][11][12][14][15][16][17]
These multidrug resistant superbugs are already a national threat in Greece.
15 percent of all patients admitted to Greek public hospitals get superbug infections, with resulting fatalities to 30 percent of that number. [18]
Medical tourism providers, patients, European healthcare officials, visitors, summer tourists, should be aware of these possible health hazards, acquired from Greek hospitals. [21]

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 January 2017
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Thessaloniki, Greece