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Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Social Trojan Horse has Arrived




Press Release
The Social Trojan Horse has Arrived

When we issued the February press release entitled “Social Solidarity or Social TrojanHorse” we had in mind various community clinics and pharmacies which have sprung up in municipalities throughout Greece and are financed by the government and by the European Union.  We wrote then about some problems we foresaw based n what was happening around us.  These problems are no longer just thoughts – they have appeared and we should all be aware of it.

The creation of the National Network of Immediate Social Intervention (http://www.koinoniasos.gr/) is clearest example of state sponsored hypocrisy.  At the same time that the Greek Public Health system is dissolving due to underfunding, the government has arranged funding, together with the European Union for organizations that barely come under the supervision of the Greek Public Health System.  The Network has initial funding of €40 million.  (read more at http://www.step.gov.gr/item/index/id/88).  This is happening at the same time when some 10’s of millions can’t be found for treatment and medication for 3 million of our uninsured fellow citizens.

On the one hand IKA/EOPPY is much reduced in its transformation to PEDY and the dismissal of half of the medical staff.  All public hospitals are underfunded to the point that insured patients, like the indigent, are not sure of finding their medication.  On the other hand, the government found 40 million to fund a network of specific NGOS and support organizations within the municipalities to support those shut out of the public health system.  And many of these semi-volunteer organizations have funding for only staff salaries, which means the uninsured still have to seek sources for their medication – usually at purely volunteer organizations, like ours.

In short, the state decided not to strengthen the Greek Public Health System, but use its precious funds (from both the national budget and from the European Union)  to invest in unproven and new structures that cannot provide the same quality of service as public health system and are certainly not prepared to handle the huge volume handled by the Greek Public Health System.

The Social Trojan Horse is here and some will reap huge profits off all the rest of us.  The 3 million unemployed are still left in the wind and await assistance.  With the €40 million, the true voluntary community clinics and pharmacies could finance medication needs for the unemployed for a great long while.  Patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes must continue to suffer on.

Unemployed cancer patients have only one source of help, the Cancer Clinic at Sotiria Hospital where the doctors and medical staff VOLUNTARILY give their time and provide chemotherapy to those in need (with no help from the state).  Disabled patients, who are insured, are trapped in their homes because the resources that supported them (home care services) have either been underfunded or abolished altogether.  The Center for Certifying Disability (KEPA) can take months to complete their admittedly difficult task, because of a shocking lack of medical resources.  As mentioned above, all the public hospitals are severely underfunded and are operating on the very verge of collapse.  Those insured have seen their co-pays increase for medications (in some cases 50%) (read more here http://www.mkiellinikou.org/2014/05 / 21/farmaka /) – in Greek.

The repeated recommendations for Greece from the European Parliaments (read here) and the Council of Europe (read here) and more recently by the International Labor Organization (read here) haven’t had effect in our country despite the fact that we find ourselves in the 6th year of economic crisis.


How many more victims have to stack up before the authorities adopt what are, by now, obvious measures?  Open the Greek Public Health system to all the uninsured and fund it to a level that it can carry out its mission.



METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CLINIC AT HELLINIKO 

  Working Hours
(MONDAY - FRIDAY 10:00 - 20:00)  and (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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