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Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Denunciation by the Voluntary Community Clinics and Pharmacies of Attika and Organizations of Solidarity for Health in Attika



PRESS RELEASE
A Denunciation by the Voluntary Community Clinics and Pharmacies of Attika and Organizations of Solidarity for Health in Attika

The Volunteer Community Clinics and Pharmacies of Attika and Organizations of Solidarity for Health condemn the ongoing brutal policies of the Greek government in the area of health. The criminal barring of the uninsured to cost-free health services – both primary and hospital care - leads to the disability and death of thousands of our fellow citizens who cannot cope with the cost of care. They often seek treatment too late, after their health has seriously deteriorated.

The VCCP of Attika protests the closure of eight hospitals in Athens and Salonika, and the plans to eliminate even more hospital departments and patient-beds in the countryside. This is being done by the Ministry of Health in order to meet commitments made as a result of the “the memoranda”. That is, the agreement Greece has made with its lenders that drive the austerity measures in this country. 

We also protest the transferring and the firing of thousands of health workers at a time when they are more necessary than ever. We want to emphasize that State Hospitals are all but closed for the 30% and more of the population who are without insurance, and have been for the past three years. 

For the uninsured to be hospitalized (this includes the unemployed, the poor, immigrants without legal papers, small shop owners who can’t pay the 450€ per month to their social security funds, as well as the entire gray and black world of people working “off the books”), they must pay the entire cost of the hospitalization, including medication. These amounts can reach tens of thousands of euros and can of course go much higher with serious illnesses – such as cancer.

The highly publicized voucher system for the uninsured and the “free distribution of medication” are band-aid programs and don’t begin to address the needs of all excluded from the health care system.  

The shutout of the uninsured, together with the ever increasing co-payments for care from the uninsured, the closure of hospitals and the closure of health facilities and reduction of patient beds, the layoffs and transfer of health workers and the functional destruction of the remaining hospitals due to under-funding, and suspension of recruitment are part of a uniform policy to meet austerity commitments. But all of these things and more mean, in essence, that the right to health care is, for all practical purposes, abolished.

Those setting these policies envision a more commercialized health system operating in parallel with the for-profit private health care sector. It might sound like a good idea, but we are seeing tragic results in lives lost and the fundamental deterioration of the health of thousands of our fellow citizens

Ruining the health system and turning it from a social blessing to a commercial enterprise is the hardening crust as the memoranda policies materialize more and more and solidify beneath it into the harshest financial austerity the working population of Greece has ever known. The 40% cut-back of expenses for public health (in relation to GDP), cuts on programs directed to help public health, disease prevention, promote hygiene and help needy citizens – they all now show clearly the negative effects they are having on our social and political well-being. We, who are daily confronted by an explosive need for health services, know all too well that it is so.

Behind every statistical fact, there are human beings. Amazing facts, such as the increase of HIV infections by 200%, the increase of malaria, the shortage of drugs, 40% of the population without public health – behind all this, we perceive daily personal and family tragedies, exhaustion, hopelessness and human misery. So we, the people who see all this clearly in ALL the volunteer clinic of solidarity declare in a unanimous, unfaltering and strong voice, “NO, SUCH CONSEQUENCES, WERE NOT INEVITABLE and needn’t have happened”. 

Such miserable results were not inevitable and may not even be legal; they are the result of political Austerity. It is our duty, in this hour of need, as victims of such policies, to struggle, united and determined to reverse all this and demand public health care, as a non-negotiable right. It has a primary value and not to be haggled over, not for economic reasons, work conditions, legalities, religious or nationalistic sensitivities or age. Today, any hesitation to take the initiative of support and solidarity, any half-hearted solution that looks the other way from people we lose EVERY DAY, just prolongs such criminal policies in which the life of an individual is not worth the price of a ticket.

The Volunteer Community Clinics for Solidarity who by their existence strive to keep alive the concept of free care and support the victims of these policies, denounce the exclusion of uninsured patients from public health care and the dismantling and commercialization of the public health care system. We call for a sustained and united struggle to insure a free and public health and welfare system for all residents of this country, without exception.

-Solidarity Clinic of Piraeus

-Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko

-Community Solidarity Clinic and Pharmacy of Athens

-Community Solidarity Clinic of Peristeri

-Community Clinic Filis

-Community Solidarity Pharmacy of Patisia

- Community Clinic of Agia Varvara (being established)

-Community Network of Doctors and Pharmacists of Iliou and the Solidarity Community Pharmacy of Iliou

-Network of Doctors of Kifissias/ Nea Erithraias

-Psychological support Network of Community Solidarity Artemidas-Spaton

-The Manolis Gereanos “Solidarity for All” Health Team


METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CLINIC AT HELLENIKO

  Working Hours
(MONDAY-FRIDAY 10:00-14:00) (MONDAY 17:00-20:00) 
(TUESDAY 14:00-20:00) (WEDNESDAY 16:00-20:00) (THURSDAY 14:00-20:00)
(FRIDAY 14:00-19:00) (SATURDAY 10:00-14:00) 
CONTACT PHONE NUMBER: +30 210 9631950 
ADDRESS:
Inside the old American Military Base, 200m away from the Traffic Police of the Municipality of Helleniko, next to the Cultural Center of Helleniko
Post code TK16777, Elliniko, Attiki, Greece

Blog http://mkie-foreign.blogspot.gr/ Email mkiellinikou@gmail.com

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