A British Hospital in Piraeus, 1897

A British Hospital in Piraeus, 1897 2339 1505 REVICTO

“The hospital at the Piraeus is one of the fruits of the English National Fund which the editor of the Daily Chronicle started on behalf of the Greek wounded.” (The Sketch, 16 June 1897). The hospital was established by the London Daily Chronicle which openly supported the Greek cause and decided to financially sponsor a medical expedition to Greece. Francis Charles Abbott, a surgeon at St Thomas’s Hospital in London and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, was in charge of the medical mission. This hospital overlooked the bay of Phalerum while a second one was established in Khalkis. “There can be little doubt that the whole working of the English hospitals will be an education in the care of the wounded,” The Sketch noted on 16 June 1897, “such as a wealthy nation has rarely been privileged to give to a poor nation struggling to advance.” As Ioanna A. Ramoutsaki, Euaggelos N. Giannacos and Gerasimos N. Livadas write in the Birth of Battlefield Radiology, the Roentgen rays were used for diagnostic purposes for the first time in Greece during the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 both in the hospital and in mobile military establishments. It was in this this war that radiologic pioneers encountered their first opportunity for evaluating the usefulness of radiography close to the firing line.  Abbott’s experiences in the 1897 Greco-Turkish War established that every mobile military hospital should be equipped with x-ray apparatus even though poor finances meant that both the Greek armed forces and Greek hospitals lagged behind the rest of Europe in the field of radiology for decades. 

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