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Thursday, January 10, 2013

PRESS RELEASE - ΜCCH contributes to the creation of a European Network on the Right of Free Access to Health Care




                                                                                                   Helliniko 10 January 2013

Particularly decisive was the contribution of the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko.  Their efforts could be the origin of the creation of a wider European network that helps ensure the inalienable human right of free access to the public health system, especially for the socially vulnerable.

After productive contact with medical organizations and institutions abroad, and through repeated visits to the MCCH by foreign journalists, researchers foreign universities, doctors and ordinary citizens we achieved the following:

The first resolution of solidarity and support of the French physicians of Hospital Mental Health EPS de Ville Evrard, was issued on 20 November 2012. This has now been followed by a call from the European Network for the establishment of a network of many community organizations in Europe, who propose to support the efforts of all community and free clinics in Greece in their daily struggle to provide health care to those who lack access to the public health system.

The efforts of MCCH have resulted in not just another resolution of support, but a cascade of measures from organizations around the globe committed to a common purpose: "freedom of access to healthcare and social care every citizen-insured or uninsured, wealthy or needy '

The resolution follows:

A call from the European Network to the Social Solidarity Clinics in Greece against the privatization and commercialization of health and social protection 

Today in Greece, one of the sectors where the most vulnerable suffer the consequences of austerity policies is in health-care.  During the last two years, one third of public hospital services have dissolved.  For example Thessaloniki, a city of one million inhabitants, has removed approximately 1 000 hospital beds.  8 000 have been removed in the entire country.  One third of the population no longer has insurance coverage.  For them, as for many others, access to the public health system has become impossible.

At the same time, working conditions have worsened.  Unemployment has risen exponentially and health workers in employment have seen their salaries reduced sometimes up to 50% (note - the previous sentence very confusing in the original Greek – you think it’s talking about all employment, then in the last two words of a rather long sentence, it seems this is referring to health workers alone

Demonstrating a criminal blindness, international authorities (IMF, ECB, European Commission) continue to require more and as soon as possible.

Faced with this worsening situation, individual citizens have organized social solidarity clinics (such as MCCH) operated by volunteers who are actively fighting everyday to improve the situation. 

These volunteer operated clinics are not only facing an influx of people excluded from the national health service, but also a lack of resources to completely cover their needs.

The European Network is against the privatization and commercialization of health care and social protection.  It declares its absolute support to the Greek people, the primary victims of austerity politics.  It does so first by actively reacting against and opposing the political philosophy which now dominates most of Europe.  A reaction which we see on both national but also European levels.  This will be triggered by the meeting of the leading nations on the May 13-14, 2013, which will include national governments as well as pan-European organizations and will deal specifically with the dire consequences of austerity in the filed of health care.  Another reaction to the philosophy of austerity will lead to an attitude of solidarity which will finally manifest itself in the creation of local community clinics for the victimized.  The Network calls upon its members as well as all collectives, unions and political organizations struggling to defend the right to a free and universal health care system to show their solidarity in this.

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