- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Authorities in Greece say unidentified thieves are stealing vital medical diagnostic equipment from the country’s austerity-battered hospitals.

Three hospitals, in the towns of Volos, Lamia and Larisa, were hit over the past two days.

Intruders made off with equipment used in colonoscopy and gastroscopy, after breaking into parts of the hospitals that were shut and locked over the weekend.

Last week, similar equipment worth some 400,000 euros ($438,000) was stolen from an Athens state cancer hospital. It was unclear whether the four incidents were linked.

Greece’s state health system has been hit hard by deep spending cuts imposed under the country’s international bailout program.

In exchange for the rescue loans, successive governments since 2010 have slashed spending across the board, hiked taxes and implemented cutting market reforms.

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