A Greek man has been convicted of a racist verbal assault on a Nigerian-born doctor who gave him emergency treatment.

A court in the northern town of Kozani on Thursday gave 57-year-old retired bank employee a six-month prison sentence, suspended for three years.

He was arrested leaving a hospital early Wednesday, after the 29-year-old doctor called police. She said the man, whose name was not made public, became obstructive as soon as she took him to the emergency ward with severe respiratory problems.

The doctor said the patient told her she needed a "Hitler and soap" treatment. The defendant apologized, saying he had not been fully conscious.

Racism is rising in financially troubled Greece, with a Nazi-inspired party coming third in national elections last month.