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Monday, February 17, 2014

Social solidarity or a social Trojan Horse?



Press Release

Social solidarity or a social Trojan Horse?

Unfortunately, political and financial centers have recently been trying to beat down solidarity efforts in the most insidious way. Initially they ignored them, but after realizing that they pose a threat to the established system, they tried mudslinging and imposing "law and order". They accomplished nothing, as society's reaction was direct and immediate. Thus they have started to implement a new plan, much more sinister and insidious, since they are actually turning solidarity itself against the people!

How do they manage that? By a very clever and simple way: They abolish public hospitals and clinics, they fire doctors and nurses and they leave the uninsured without any access to the National Health System, as well as many of those still insured, in such a dire financial condition that they are unable to contribute their share of drugs and tests' cost. At the same time, they create structures naming them “Social Health Clinic”, “Social Pharmacy”, “Social Grocery”, “Social Tutoring”, even “Social Nursing Home”, that do not rely on solidarity, but on temporary EU funds (NSRF) to actually replace (or, to be more precise, to give the impression that they replace) the NHS or other welfare state structures.

In the Health sector, these structures that are essentially municipal clinics - pharmacies etc, accept money from the European Union and some of their staff receive a small pay, while many are working voluntarily. This means that we have structures that offer only a small percentage of what the National Health System is supposed to offer, at a low cost (for the state and the EU) since their staff is either unpaid or receives a pittance. In short, the message that the state is trying to pass is "volunteers will do everything".

The truth is that volunteers (and/or “volunteers”) cannot do everything. Community clinics and pharmacies are EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS that neither intend to nor are able to  substitute in the least, structures such as the National Organization for the Provision of Healthcare Services (IKA / EOPYY), let alone secondary health care facilities such as public hospitals or mental institutions.

The massive creation of "social" clinics - pharmacies receiving money from the EU and / or the state, only manages to hide the problem. True, solidarity based community clinics - pharmacies, besides offering health services to suffering people, also highlight the reasons that force people to come to them and of course they demand the existence of NHS, for the simple reason that they know that community clinics can never replace it.

Unfortunately, many Municipalities, Associations, NGOs and others, have been following the trend by creating the above structures. Some make money on the backs of citizens who suffer, but also on the backs of truly voluntary structures like our own clinic (which receives no funding and does not intended to become a permanent structure or an NGO). In fact, they refer patients to us, although they are getting paid for each patient, while we work on a purely voluntary basis -just because they know that we can not leave anyone at the mercy of illness.

We must not let citizens' solidarity become a weapon turned against our own interests. When some have already reached the point of suggesting there's a need for "Social Nursing Homes”, then surely we must all think about the monstrosity that is being created.

Finally, let us wonder how come the Minister of Health is pleased to receive help for the National Health System from Greeks abroad and to distribute it to public hospitals, while at the same time he defends the banks and lenders who claim every last cent, cut from education, health and other social benefits. This is called degradation, not solidarity.



METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CLINIC AT HELLINIKO 

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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 
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