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Thursday, October 31, 2013

“Infotainment” on the Popular TV Show “Eniko” with the Minister of Health




PRESS RELEASE

“Infotainment” on the Popular TV Show “Eniko” with the Minister of Health


Dr. George Vichas, a volunteer doctor with the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helleniko, took part in a “Town Hall” style discussion on the popular television program “Enikos” with the Minister of Health Mr. Andonis Georgiadis on Monday 21 October.  Dr. Vichas participated in the belief that during show some of the key areas of public health would be discussed.  Instead, during the first 90 minutes of the show, presidents of a variety of organizations paraded in front of the camera, while the Minister of Health put them in their place with a few barbed comments. 

After a persistent effort, a 42 year old long term unemployed and uninsured citizen, FINALLY was able to seize the floor.  From him, the minister heard an emotional outpouring on the truly massive health problems faced by uninsured citizens.  The Minister did not respond effectively to these comments.  The show’s host, Mr. Chatzinikolao then gave the microphone to Dr. Vichas who stated the problems faced by 3,000,000 uninsured citizens.  He effectively kept the discussion on target pointing out that the accounting measures taken by the ministry were being paid for in lives lost.

It is a shame that a public debate took place under such circumstances – when it was supposed to answer the public’s questions.  It is indeed surprising that this Minister of Health (chosen for this assignment only four months ago and, according to his own account, still unfamiliar with the health area) knew of problems involving the health area that had first appeared as far back as 2000 and used such informed rhetoric to silence his astounded listeners.  For the sake of argument, let us imagine that this minister is gifted and well informed on all problems concerning health.  Let us also imagine that certain individuals asked questions that the common people might have asked.  Let’s imagine again that the whole show was organized to inform the dazed public.  But the end result was to blur the health issues in question.

When the Minister of Health can prattle on for three solid hours and mention almost nothing other than “accounting” and “money” then even a fool finally realizes that there is something seriously wrong.  Cannot the distinguished minister understand that he is responsible for the lives of his citizens?  Cannot the distinguished minister realize that by “cutting costs” he is also snuffing out LIVES?

Of course he realizes it.  No matter what games the media plays in the interest of “infotainment” the burning truth is still there, as bright as the sun.  Three million citizens are shut out from the public health system and this has simply, but surely terminated many lives.  What is the minister’s answer to this? 






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

 

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Spot Inspection by a team from the National Organization of Medicines, the Drug Enforcement Police and a magistrate


 
PRESS RELEASE

A Spot Inspection by a team from the National Organization of Medicines, the Drug Enforcement Police and a magistrate

 
Thursday morning, 24 October, MCCH received an unannounced inspection by a team of officials from the Greek National Organization for Medicines, and the narcotics police in the presence of a magistrate.  The inspection came as a result of a complaint of drugs trafficking.  Our volunteers cooperated fully.  Our pharmacy was inspected, as was the rest of the clinic.  No drugs were found in the class of narcotics, nor were there any other irregularities.  Almost simultaneously, the free clinic of the “Doctors of the World” also received a “visit.”  As with us, there were no irregularities.

We have requested of the police to inform us who made this complaint; we would like to invite them to our clinic so that they can see how we operate.  We are trying to achieve a COMMUNITY clinic.

It strikes us as more than strange that instead of focusing on what impoverishes 3,000,000 uninsured citizens, many of who die helpless because state health care is slowly unraveling, that some decide to “raid” volunteer community clinics during their operating hours.  We have NOTHING to hide.  The clinic can be visited at any time during our operating hours by anyone who wishes to tour and see how we operate.  We have received two surprise inspections in the last ten months, the first by the Medical Association of Athens, and the second last Thursday.

Furthermore, we publicly declare that the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko and its volunteers are not intimidated nor influenced by such actions.  It confirms that we are on the right track in helping to preserve the dignity of our uninsured and unemployed fellow citizens.

As long as governments implement the same inhumane policies of excluding the uninsured from the Public Health System, we will continue, along with other community organizations, to stand in solidarity and to offer humanity and dignity to each patient.  Additionally, as we consider it our duty and obligation, we will by any means we can denounce such policies, both in Greece and abroad, and fight to reverse them.


NO ONE ALONE IN CRISIS



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
 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Caravan of Solidarity for MCCH in Italy


A Caravan of Solidarity for MCCH in Italy


In view of the international interest in the humanitarian crisis in Greece, the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko has continued its effort to inform people abroad of the impact of this crisis on ordinary citizens.  The Italian feminist organization “Donne nella Crisi”, (women in crisis), together with other Italian organizations of solidarity approached us and we gave them concrete examples of what happens to the uninsured in our country.  These organizations decided to launch a “Caravan of Solidarity” for Greece. 

 This caravan will journey throughout Italy (from the north to the south).  At the various stops, there will be many events such as debates, photo exhibits, and showing videos of our clinic and our work here.  The cities that will participate are:


22/10 VERONA 
25/10 BRESCIA and ROVATO 
26-27/10 RHO and CORNAREDO 
28/10 MILANO 
29/10 LODI 
5/11 BOLOGNA 
6/11 ROMA 
7/11 SALERNO 
8/11 COSENZA and VIBO 
9/11 BARI 
10/11 LECCE 
11/11 FIRENZE 
12/11 LIVORNO 
13/11 MANTOVA 
14/11 TORINO 
15/11 COMO 
20/11 PADOVA

The purpose of the Caravan of Solidarity is to broadcast all over Italy what is going on in Greece.  Another reason is to collect supplies for our patients.  It will send a forceful message to the Greek government, but also to the Troika (the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund).  The message is HUMAN BEINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAT MONEY!

We will keep updated on the progress of the “Caravan” as is proceeds on its course.


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
 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Protest at Alexandra Hospital was a Great Success



The Protest at Alexandra Hospital was a Great Success

A peaceful protest at the entrance of the Alexandra Hospital was successfully carried out on 17 October 2013.  The day was the day of action of the Volunteer Community Clinics and Pharmacies in hospitals all across the country.  Participating in the action were The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko, The Community Clinic and Pharmacy for Solidarity of Athens, Society of Cancer Patients, Volunteers, Friends and Physicians (KEFI) and The Team for Solidarity for those with Muscular Sclerosis.

The protest was to give a strong voice to women’s organizations, and the movement “I will not pay”.  Doctors and nurses of the hospital and as well as our patients and private citizens, took part. The goal of the protest was to demonstrate, yet once again, that all must have equal access to health care including, of course, the uninsured.

A delegation of the protesters participated in a meeting with the assistant director of the hospital.  She gave a personal undertaking that the hospital will accept, from here on, uninsured pregnant women who will be able to give birth with dignity and that there will be no cost passed on to them, or costs passed on to their tax debt.  This is a significant step in our battle to open the state hospitals to all uninsured citizens.  This, the state is obligated to do, but does not do it.  But the employees of the hospitals, in solidarity with simple citizens, are doing what they can to honor this obligation.

We gave a clear message of the inalienable right of all to LIFE and DIGNITY.  We have asked for a written answer the hospital’s undertaking.  We will continue our struggle with the same unwavering firm stance that ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO LIFE.    


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Reception for the Representative of “Ambassadors of Greece“

 
 

With great pleasure, we hosted a reception for Mr. Niko Kolendriano, representative of the Australian-Greek organization “Ambassadors of Greece” (each Greek is an ambassador of Greece) on Saturday, 5 October 2013.  In a simple, but very touching event for MCCH, our volunteers and fellow citizens attending had the opportunity, to truly understand the love and solidarity shown to us by Greek expatriates in Australia.  Two Greek communities, in Melbourne and Victoria, together with nine Greek schools and individual citizens gathered a substantial amount, with which they bought medicines and other materials that we were of immediate need to our patients.

The reception demonstrated clearly how our expatriates feel for and support what is happening in this country.  Many of them are 3rd and 4th generation, but they understand what is happening here, and now.

Toward the end of the event, the close ties of friendship and solidarity between us were related to us through a video.  Mrs. Efy Gianna (co-founder of the organization) pledged the continued support of the organization to our work in the coming year.  Mrs. Gianna assured us that she will try in every way to communicate the message of support and solidarity to the Greek people from the entire Australian community.

 
Here are some photographs of the event 
 










 

 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Press Conference by the Coordinated Voluntary Community Clinics and Pharmacies of Attika


 

PRESS RELEASE
Press Conference by the
Coordinated Voluntary Community Clinics and Pharmacies of Attika
Monday, 14 October


We, the doctors, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists and all the volunteers who organize and work in the community clinics and pharmacies for solidarity in Attika have a number of questions to put not only to the Minister as Health, but the entire government as well.  The questions are:  

  1. How many people, who as a result of unemployment and the four-year economic crisis have lost access to primary health care?

  2. Is 1/3 of the population uninsured and therefore without access to the secondary health system (hospitalization)?

  3. How many uninsured cancer patients have been excluded from access to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, thereby endangering their chances of survival?

  4. How many long term patients have had their rights to kidney dialysis, blood transfusion and other essential treatments and medication for their conditions terminated?

  5. How many patients with common long term ailments, such as diabetes, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, high cholesterol, have cut their therapy with tragic consequences to their health?

  6. How many women have been denied the right to give birth with dignity and with proper care because they cannot pay the expenses of the formerly cost-free public health system?

  7. For what reason are medical expenses for immigrants doubled?

 
We invite the government to answer the questions above.  Until then, in resistance to the barbaric status quo, we of the voluntary community clinics and pharmacies will battle to preserve our society, our dignity and our hope.  We keep faith in community solidarity and hold the conviction that health is the highest social good.  Our actions are not acts of charity, nor do we wish to give the message that people should quietly submit and act out of compassion.  Rather, together we struggle for the right to public health and to reclaim cost-free access to medical care for all.
 
We invite you on Monday 14 October 2013 to a press conference sponsored by the Coordinated Voluntary Community Clinics and Pharmacies of Attika.  The press conference will be held at the Journalists Union of the Daily Newspapers of Athens, Acadamias 20, Athens.

 
Coordinated Community Clinics and Pharmacies for Solidarity, Attika
 
-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
 
-Society of Cancer Patients, Volunteers, Friends and Physicians
 
 


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

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

International Petition through AVAAZ





PRESS RELEASE
International Petition through AVAAZ

The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko has started an international petition, to be signed on-line, through the webpage of AVAAZ.  The goal of our campaign is to reverse the criminal policies implemented by the Greek government in the public health system.  These laws have been enacted under the influence of the “Troika” (i.e., the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF).  We wish to make known the plight of citizens in our country.

The signatures we collect will be sent to a variety of international organizations, including the European Union, the ECB, the IMF, The Council of Europe, the UN and the Greek Government.

It’s time for citizens to show their strength and it’s time for the international community to listen.  Human life is above numbers and money!

The petition will be translated into a number of languages

Here below you can find the English language version of the petition.  If you wish to sign, you can at https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_with_the_criminal_budget_cuts_to_Greeces_Public_Healthcare_System_1/

You can also watch the BBC's news coverage "In Sickness and in Debt" which shows in detail the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding in Greece http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rkKhwg0EPM




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