The greek health´s system has been collapsed. Under the Troika´s direction and the government complicity are many the medical centers, departments and hospitals that have been closed or united, and the huge cut in the public hospitals funding it´s inducing to severe basic lacks. Every time are more the excluded from public medical coverage, with covering conditions of 6-7 worked months in the last year (with an increasing unemployment of 27%). All the imposed measures hinder day by day the acces to medical care, a care that stopped being free, with tickets of 5€ for consultation and 25€ for entering a hospital.
In the face of this health emergency there are many who haven´t remained impassive, opening self-managed social clinics. This iniciatives were born initially from the necessity of giving medical care to the health system excludeds, immigrants the first of them, but day by day serve more greeks that have been left out of health coverage or that can´t afford for their medicines.
The Athens Solidary Social Clinic, has been the last to open, barely a mounth ago. The idea came out from an active mate´s group in the against public greek health system destruction struggle and participants in various solidarity actions, in the face of deal with the pressing reality that every day more people in Greece face. After six months of work, they achieve opening this center, in wich medical professionals provide their services voluntarily and for free. The equipment and the medicines are paid by the own volunteers or donated by the people or pharmacies that want to collaborate. During our visit to this center a women brings two full of medicines bags from one of these pharmacies. The premises, located in an apartment building in the center of Athens, have been granted by a non profit organization. It has the majority of medical specialties, and they expect to offer all of them in a close future, they say to us with optimism and certainty. Despite of they had not enough time to advertise it´s opening, in the last week they served more than 20 people. Other clinics like this one have already waiting list, like the Ellinikon´s. Other of the fist clinic is the Social Clinic of Solidarity of Thessalonki. The objective of this center, they tell to us, it´s to be able to close them because of left being necessaries.
Open every working day, completely free for not insured, both greeks as foreigners.
– General medicine doctor is permanent
The struggle for the health right has been visible in Greek since the signing of the fist memorandum and the consequents austerity programs. From the hospital workers disobedience, declining to charge the admission tickets and attending the uninsured, to the Kilkís Hospital occupation in February 2012, where during three weeks the workers self-managed the hospital ignoring the government administration and denouncing the work conditions in it, so as all of the hard impositions to the people. The same month, workers of the mental health and special education sector occupied the Health Ministry in Athens during fifteen days demanding, among other things, the retreatment of all health system dismantling, the free acces to it and no more fires of partners with the pretext of transfers or service unities suppressions. These are some examples of this fight for human dignity that is taking place in Greece from wich social clinics take part of.
The explosion of solidarity initiative that Greece is living since September 2012, make them being optimist, they tell to us at the Solidary Social Clinics of Athens: only the union and the solidarity can defeat the fear in that are traying to sink the greek society. The hospitality with which they receive us and the smile with which they see us out are a good prove of that.
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