Helliniko 8 August 2013
The Answer of Laiko Hospital to Our Urgent Appeal for a Cancer Patient
MCCH issued a 2nd press release on Tuesday 6 August 2013 regarding the especially serious failure of Laiko Hospital to provide necessary medication for a 53 year old cancer patient. Two days later, on 8 August we received the following reply from the hospital. You will find the full text of the letters below – you can draw your own conclusions.
As The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko, we are obliged to ask the Ministry of Health and the administration of the Laiko Hospital the following questions.
- For what reasons does “the pharmacy of Laiko Hospital lacks this particular medication” as Mr. Polyzos states in his letter.
- The cancer patient in question IS INSURED by “Pronia”, a state welfare scheme. State hospitals are obliged to give any holder of a health booklet under this plan the medication he or she needs. This didn’t happen. Why?
- We are especially pleased that the company producing the medicine will make it available to our patient. But what will happen with other patients who find themselves in the same situation? Where will they get their medication? Our patient is not the only one who has gotten his prescription for life saving medications back from a state hospital stamped with “this medication not available”. What must these patients do? Go from volunteer clinic to volunteer clinic until they find one who will make the fuss that we made in the past week with two press releases? And what about the psychological damage? It’s hard enough to fight for your life against cancer. Can these patients summon the strength to fight the burearcracy as well? Does anyone in the Ministry of Health lose sleep over what they are doing to these patients?
- Will the Ministry of Health finally make provision for these situations and, will they finally answer to what will happen to the tens of thousands of UNINSURED citizens who have no access to the Public Health System.
We emphasize that we deeply respect the doctors, and health care staff of the state hospitals. They struggle every day to face challenges that cannot be overstated. They are doing their best to care for their patients while coping with the austerity measures dictated by the Ministry of Health and by most (not all) hospital authorities.
We cannot stand silently by when we see these types of criminal acts every day. It is mainly the uninsured patients who are suffering, but, as in this case, insured ones as well.
We have to call them as we see them and demand ANSWERS. The hospital should NOT try to hide behind a doctor who strives with all his might to care for his patients.
These answers can come only from the Ministry of Health and the Administrations of each state hospital. So far, these answers have not been given.
Subject: Concerning your urgent appeal for a cancer patient:
In answer to the above, we transmit the message to Dr. Ar. Polyzos (7-8-13), director of our Pathology Department which concerns the 53 year old cancer patient in questions and the medications administered to him.
We are at your disposal for any information you require.
Subject: Concerning your appeal to Laiko Hospital about the 53 year old cancer patient who is not insured by EOPYY
The drug in question is made by ROCHE and is unique, there are no generic versions. For reasons that do not concern the doctors, the pharmacy of our hospital did not have this specific drug.
Since the patient in question is not insured by EOPPY (Greece’s main public health-care provider) their pharmacies cannot provide him with the said medicine.
The administration of our hospital however, borrowed the required drug from another hospital while company making the drug will provide the drug to this particular patient.
The patient will receive his therapy on Friday 9 August 2013
Professor Aris Polyzos
Director of the A. Pathology Clinic
University of Athens
Here you can read the original post in Greek, accompanied by the two letters in Greek http://mki-ellinikou.blogspot.gr/2013/08/blog-post_8.html