Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Love and solidarity from our Italian friends

 

Press Release
 Love and solidarity from our Italian friends

During October and November 2013, the Italian feminist organization "Donne nella Crisi" ("Women in the Crisis"), along with other Italian organizations and groups of civilians,  held a Solidarity Caravan in Italy, aiming to inform the Italian people about the critical situation of Greece's Public Health. The Caravan traveled throughout Italy, crossing a total of 15 cities, organized multiple events, such as discussions, photography exhibitions, video projections, thus making widely known the activities of the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko and also the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding. A presentation of the Clinic was also made by our representative, brochures and informational material were given to civilians outside of hospitals and at various city squares, in order to raise awareness concerning the impact of the crisis in the average civilian' s health in our country. (You can read all about the itinerary of the caravan here)

During the events, a large number of urgently needed medications were collected and a significant amount of money  was donated so as to proceed to the purchase of new medications for our clinic.

We were also very pleased to welcome the representative of the organization "Donne nella Crisi", Ms Rosa Calderazzi on the 3rd of April at our premises, where the official delivery of medicines, bought with the money donations during the Caravan, was made. At this point, it is worth mentionning that Ms Calderazzi, with the help of a volunteer, has been crossing Italy for over a month with a trailer, informing Italian civilians about everything that is currently happenning in the Greek National Health system. It is needless to say that any kind of aid coming from a country which faces similar social problems, such as high unemployment rates and serious effects on its National Health System, is of extreme importance and means a lot to us.

         20140403_190505
Delivery of medications bought with the money donated by Italian civilians during the solidarity caravan in Italy. In the middlle, we see the representative of the organization "Donne nella Crisi", Ms Rosa Calderazzi.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  20140403_190641 
 The representative of the organization "Donne nella Crisi" Ms Rosa Calderazzi having a conversation with the volunteer doctor Giorgos Vichas.


The least we can say is a very big "thank you" to our brothers in Italy, sending at the same time the message that we stand by them in their own forthcoming struggle to claim the right of all civilians for a free and unrestricted access to their country's National Health System.

We would also like to thank Ms Sonia Mitralia, from the group "Women for Reproductive Rights", who brought us into contact with the organization "Donne nella Crisi", and with whose presence and contribution the solidarity caravan has had such a positive outcome.

Below there are some pictures from the cities  visited by the Caravan and the events that were held.

Verona camper helleniko 8
On the 22 of October the Cravan began its journey in Verona. We see here civilians being informed.


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Verona, 10/22


Brescia camper helleniko 1
10/25 Brescia and Rovato.


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Meeting in Brescia.



Brescia camper helleniko 6
Civilians information outside of a hospital in Brescia.



Rho camping helleniko 1
The Caravan in Rho and Cornaredo.


Rho camper helleniko 2
Informing civilians in Rho.

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Informing civilians outside of a hospital in Milan, 10/28.

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Milan, 10/28.

Milano camping helleniko 61
An outdoor civilian information in Milan.


Lodi camping helleniko 26
10/29,Civilian information in Lodi.


Bologna camper helleniko 1
Tha Cravan arriving in Bologna,11/5.


Bologna camper helleniko 6
Meeting at Bologna University, 11/5.


Bologna camper helleniko 4
Conference at Bologna University, 11/5.


Roma camper helleniko 4
Rome, 11/6.


Roma camper helleniko 14
Informative meeting in Rome, 11/6.


Roma camper helleniko 13
11/6, Rome.


Salerno camper helleniko (55)
11/7, The Caravan arriving in Salerno.


Salerno camper helleniko (58)
11/7, a theatrical performance in Salerno.


Salerno camper helleniko (57)
11/7 Salerno, a doctor selects and inspects the medications donated by civilians. Soon, they will be arriving at the MCCH.


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11/7, Civilian meeting in Salerno, update about the situation in Greece.


Cosenza camper helleniko (69)
11/8, The Caravan arrives in Consenza and Vibo.


Cosenza camper helleniko (70)
11/8, Information in Consenza.


Bari camper helleniko (73)
11/9 Arriving in Bari.

Lecce camper helleniko (75)
11/10, Arriving in Lecce.


Lecce camper helleniko (78)
Civilian information in Lecce.


lecce camper helleniko
11/10, Conference in Lecce.


Lecce camper helleniko (90)
11/10,Lecce, Conference through Skype with our volunteer in Greece Christos Sideris.


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A poster about the events held in Lecce.


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11/11, Firenze, civilian briefing and live conference with the MCCH and our volunteer doctor Giorgos Vichas, who spoke to the civilians who participated to the meeting.


 firenze camper helleniko (103)
11/11, Firenze, civilians update, with the participation of our volunteer, Ioanna Limperopoulou, who travelled to Italy especially for the Caravan, and was accommodated by our italian friends.


firenze camper helleniko (102)
11/11, Firenze.


Firenze camper helleniko 1
11/11, Firenze, outdoor civilians information and medications collection.


Livorno camper helleniko (113)
11/12, Livorno, meeting for the information of civilians. Our volunteer Ioanna Limperopoulou took part.


http://www.mkiellinikou.org/wp-content/uploads/Livorno-camper-helleniko-112.jpg
11/12, Livorno, our volunteer, Ioanna Limperopoulou in the middle.


Mantova camper helleniko (124)
11/13, The Caravan arriving in Mantova.


Mantova camper helleniko (116)
11/13, Civilian information in Mantova.


Torino camper helleniko (131)
11/14 Torino, our volunteer Ioanna Limperopoulou informing civilians.


Torino camper helleniko (126)
11/14, a poster about the Caravan events.


Torino camper helleniko (132)
11/14, Torino.


Livorno camper helleniko (108)
11/19, The Cravan's last destination, Genoa.


Genova camper helleniko 2
11/19, Last destination, Genoa.


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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another Uninsured Woman Loses her Life




Press Release

Another Uninsured Woman Loses her Life
  

This time, it was a 40 year old uninsured mother of two young children from Mytilini. She died from a stroke because she didn’t have the money to pay for medication. The 40 year old hadn’t been taking her medication for some time now because she simply couldn’t afford it. 

The policy of excluding our uninsured fellow citizens from health care means that human life is endangered and often lost because of the indifference of the Greek Ministry of Health and the government. At a same time that banks and lenders receive billions of euros, the government can’t spend 700 million euro (according to the Greek Minister of Health, that’s all it would cost) to help 3 million uninsured citizens.

At our clinic we often see, patients who come to us after not being able to obtain (often for months) the treatment or medications necessary for their health. 

For how much longer do we have to measure the dead who could have been saved with a modest expenditure?  

Will the prosecutor investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of this 40 year old woman?

We want to emphasize that the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko has conducted a study which proves that even from an economic point of view, it is in the interest of the state to provide medical care to uninsured citizens. You can read more about that here.


Source for the news about the death of the 40 year old woman is: http://www.emprosnet.gr (in Greek language)


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



The First Results of the Health Monitor




Press Release

The First Results of the Health Monitor


It is with great pleasure that we announce the addition of the “Health Monitor” as a new complementary feature to our web page http://www.mkiellinikou.org.  Through this new link, our volunteers try to report the most significant recent facts pertaining to the field of Greek public health as such issues are published in the mass media.  Our sources consist of press reports, but also complaints that reach independent volunteer community clinics, all of which have been cross checked.

The aim of the Health Monitor is to be a means for a user to absorb quickly and simply any information that has to do with the Greek Public Health and the policies around it as they have been formed in our country during this economic crisis. 

We started gathering information in experimentally in July of 2013 and have re-doubled our efforts in 2014.  We try to add to this data-base of information so that it reflects a clear picture of Greek public health which is steadily deteriorating because of the inhuman policies that the Troika dictates.

The content of the Monitor is provided freely and each report is verified by its source - which is listed next to the report.  In cases where specific complaints are made by or of individuals or organizations, the responsibility for verifying such accusations rests with the pertinent community clinics involved.

We chose to record only real and verified events and to discard rumors and other sources of information.  Because we are volunteers and have to carefully allocate our time, we focus strictly on recent events accompanied by their source.

The reports are monthly and are divided into 13 categories:  Public Health, The Greek National Health System, the Uninsured, the Destitute, Statistics, Cancer Patients, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Mental Health, Mobilization of Medical Staff, and Volunteer Community Clinics.

Our reports are monthly as well as yearly.  To make it easier to follow items of interest, there is an option to select certain categories each month.  It’s understood that every item can apply to more than one category.  Our subject-categories may increase in the future.  For example, if we get more information, we may be obliged to add a category on hypertension patients.

To see the monitor, click here (the monitor is in Greek)


We hope to be able to go on improving the monitor.  If your have observations, recommendations or complaints, email mkie.paratiritirio@gmail.com.



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

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Have Hepatitis and are uninsured? It’s going to get interesting!



Press Release

Have Hepatitis and are uninsured?  It’s going to get interesting!


Are you suffering from hepatitis and you’re uninsured.  You’re out of luck!!  But, take comfort, you’re not alone….  This is the sweet message that the Greek Ministry of Health seems to be giving; we confess it makes no sense to us either.   

On 11 March, we sent to the Ministry of Health, and also to the General Secretariat of the Government an urgent letter asking them to find a solution for eight hepatitis patients who have come to our door.  We also sent notification regarding the eight by fax to the office of the Minister of Health as well as communicating the problem to them in person.  It is a problem that seriously affects public health.  We haven’t gotten a response as yet.

Unfortunately, our clinic cannot provide these patients with the extremely expensive medication that they need, without fail.  So these people are facing dire complications and there is a lurking danger that they may transmit their disease to others as well.

We are therefore pleading once more with the Ministry of Health – and this time publicly - for what should be OBVIOUS.  That these people must be given the proper medical attention at once and there should be a commitment by the Ministry that other such cases will be covered by the Greek Public Health System.  Doing otherwise puts our society in great danger.  This attitude by the Ministry is not only insensitive, but is also astonishingly irresponsible policy.  Patients with serious and contagious diseases cannot be ignored.

Here is a translation of the message that was sent by e-mail and fax on 11 March 2014 to the Greek Ministry of Health.

——- Forwarded message ———-
 From: Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helleniko <mkiellinikou@gmail.com>
 Date: 2014-03-11 15:36 GMT+02:00
 Subject: Emergency appeal for medication for patients with hepatitis Β and hepatitis C
 To: minister@yyka.gov.gr, Adonis Georgiadis <g-adonis@otenet.gr>
 Cc: gge@ggk.gr

    Helliniko 11/03/2014

TO THE HEALTH MINISTRY OF GREECE / Minister of Health, Mr. Andoni Georgiadi
COPY TO: Office of the Secretary General, Minister of Health
COPY TO: General Secretariat of the Government
   
SUBJECT: Emergency appeal for medication for patients with hepatitis Β and
hepatitis C

Mister Minister,

The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko makes an urgent appeal for the immediate attention to the very serious issue treatment of patients with active hepatitis B or C.  Uninsured patients do not systematically receive their treatment regimen.  They may receive it sporadically or not at all.  And this has consequences for themselves and for the community as a whole.  Treating the disease with Copegus and Pegasys inj is impossible for uninsured/indigent patients because of its cost.  The voluntary community clinics often find it impossible to supply this specific therapy.

The problem usually concerns young people, and creates a chain reaction of problems for the patients themselves and for the community as a whole.  It should promptly be given the appropriate solution, which is access to the correct drug therapy.

The question of these specific drugs was put to you in our visit to the ministry in January 2014, as well as in our written appeal.

Currently, we have eight patients battling these illnesses.  It is impossible for either them, or us to cover the expenses of these medications.  We –they – need your immediate help.

At your service,

Vassiliki Iliopoulou

For the Coordinating Committee of MCCH


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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Deep inequalities and worse health services for the Greeks




The findings of the research by IPSOS Institute, which focused on the last six months with the reforms of the Greek Ministry of Health still taking place, are 'a slap in the face' of Mr. Adonis Georgiadis (Greek Minster of Health).

The research was presented by Ms Tina Tripsa, head of IPSOS in Greece, at the conference of the Financial Times, which was held in collaboration with the Greek Society of Health Services Administration and Boussias Communications. The main theme of the conference was the economic crisis and its impact on Health. The basic conclusion is the existence of deep inequalities among Greek citizens regarding their access to health services and the increase of the private expenditure of patients for their medical treatment.

The survey was conducted during March in Athens, in Thessaloniki and in various other Greek cities, through telephone and face-to-face interviews. 624 Greek citizens took part, aged from 25 to 70 years, who have used health services in the last six months, either for themselves or for their children, while 40% of the cases involved chronically ill patients. 308 doctors from the NHS, EOPYY and the private sector participated in the survey as well.

According to this research, it seems that those who have been hit the most are the chronically ill. 71% of the patients who have lost their public medical insurance rights while on long term treatment, will not be able to go on with their treatment without having to pay for it in its entirety, according to the doctors' estimates. Doctors consider that 29% of them could continue their treatment if they turn to voluntary social services such as community clinics. However, 44% of the chronically ill who have lost their insurance are estimated to have their treatment already interrupted.

When asked "Have recent developments in the public health sector affected your ability to follow your normal treatment -and if so, in what way?" 4 out of 10 patients with chronic and rare illnesses have answered "Yes".

40% continue with the treatment, however they have to pay for their visits to the doctor.

26% missed certain doses.

25% had to pay out of their own pockets for medicines and medical tests.

24% stopped taking accompanying drugs.

20% discontinued the therapy for a certain period of time.

As a result, in 33% of these patients there is disease progression, 11% relapse and 14% show symptoms due to the discontinuation of the accompanying drugs.

Compared to the period before the crisis, 56% say that today their family pays more for health services, and 1 in 3 families “cut” from their diet in order to cope with this increase in private expenditure.

During the last six months, the overwhelming majority of Greeks had to pay extra for medicines or doctor visits, while doctors and patients alike found that the quality of public health services today are worse than the pre-crisis period  and that the recent measures of A. Georgiadis do not promote equal and fair access to the public health system. Specifically, 73% of the citizens and 81% of the doctors find the health services provided today worse, and 82% of the citizens and 78% of the doctors consider that the recent measures do not improve access.

This is the depiction of the situation experienced by Greek citizens in a health system rundown by austerity policies. As Ms Tripsa noted in her presentation, equality in Health is a constitutional right, while the creation or preservation of inequalities is due to the policies followed.

However, Mr. Georgiadis in his speech at the same conference, praised once again those who are ministers "during the memorandum era" and argued that "the real heroes of the times are the ones that keep Greece standing -and we did so by saying 'yes' and not by various trifle such as the 'heroic no' and the blackmail of Europe and the like"... As for the claim that the whole world recognizes the progress of the country besides the Greek journalists, the numbers of yet another research seem to refute him.




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




Monday, March 31, 2014

A Resolution by the European Parliament, A Rebuke to Greece and the Troika



Press Release

A Resolution by the European Parliament
A Rebuke to Greece and the Troika

On 11 January 2014, the European Parliament passed resolution 17-0240/2014 with the title “Aspects pertaining to employment and social divisions connected to the role and actions of Troika.”

The resolution is a slap in the face of Greece as well as the Troika.  Among other things, it mentions that the European Parliament has been set aside while the Central European Bank has taken decisions outside its jurisdiction.  This resolution points out obvious mistakes in the proceedings concerning Troika’s role and they also point out that in the programs they planned failed to take social factors into account.  In this way, the vulnerable portions of the population have been hurt while unemployment has steadily climbed to alarming levels.

The results of such a “scheme”, which was based on a faulty financial multiplier, are self-evident in our country.  Poverty has reached the working class and the middle class, while poverty among children is constantly rising.  At the same time, the increase in mortgage defaults and foreclosures of homes steps heavily on human rights.  The whole situation is worsened by the cuts to the lowest salaries and the across-the-board cutbacks in health.  As the resolution points out, the reforms have had a serious impact on the overall quality not to mention plain access to health and social welfare services.  This is especially true in countries such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal Essentially the right to health has been totally ignored.

Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko was founded because of this denial health services to the most vulnerable in our society.

The European Parliament has gone a step further and is urgently recommending the EU to take immediate action to re-establish the basics of social protection and to take drastic measures towards this goal.  It also has called upon the European Commission, the ECB and the Euro group to review and revise, where necessary, the stern measures that have been implemented - and to accomplish this without delay. 

In addition, the European Parliament insists that they adhere to the legal obligations spelt out in the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and that any omission to do this will constitute a violation of fundamental laws/rights of the EU.  It calls on the Agency for Fundamental Rights of the European Union to examine in detail the impact of these measures on human rights and to submit strong recommendations whenever they feel that the Charter has been violated.  They also urge Troika and its relevant member states to stop destructive measures as soon as possible and to establish mechanisms for crisis management.

They go on to ask that the Commission and the Council to look into social imbalances and correct them by paying equal attention that they give to macroeconomic imbalances and to make sure that any adjustments are socially just and do not fail to keep a balance between economic development and employment, and between the implementation of structural reforms and fiscal consolidation. 

Among the recommendations given to the Commission and its member states is a recommendation that spending on health and education should be considered an investment that can lead to recovery. 

Finally, the European Parliament recommends conferring with and giving heed to the needs of the public - to listen to organizations of patients and professionals which are trying to protect vulnerable groups and to give them access to services and medicines.

We earnestly hope that the attention will be given to this resolution of the European Parliament.  After all, every day, we work with the needy and uninsured who turn to us for medicines and health services. 


May the voices in this resolution be heard and resonate clearly. 




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