ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIAL CLINIC OF SOLIDARITY IN THESSALONIKI
We are living in an era, in which, due to the economic crisis and efforts of the capitalists to transfer it in the working class, the unemployment and poverty are radically increased, leaving thousands of people in the wayside.
On the other hand, in the context of the restrictive fiscal policy and the commercialization of health, the government expenditures in the vital sector of health and welfare have been dramatically reduced and the state is shrinking its responsibility to cover even the most basic health necessities for a large part of people in the country. In a recent interview of the president of National School of Public Health, he confessed that the percentage of the population in our country that does not have access to the National Health System rises to 20%, after introducing the financial participation of the patient in it. The 5 euros that is required for a visit to the doctor’s consulting room, the payment of the overall clinical expenses and laboratory examinations for the non-insured people, as well as other payments with various participation costs of the people who have medical insurance, have basically abolished the right to free medical care. For a poor, an unemployed, a serious and long-term ill person, this means the completion of his social exclusion, the rapid deterioration of his health situation, his total misery and eventually his early death.
This social treaty is barbaric, unfair and offends every value of the modern human civilization.
As participants of the health services that were present together in the health surveillance and support of the 50 immigrants on hunger strike in the Thessaloniki Labour Center, as people in solidarity to their fight for full and equal rights with the local employees, we experienced the value and efficiency of solidarity in a such crucial sector of the everyday life, the medical treatment and health care. During the past years we, also, experienced in person how the questioning of the right to qualitative and free health care has started in immigrants and refugees, which gradually expanded to local Greek citizens. And we are willing and determined to defend this right, on the one hand, with the participation in the political and social fight of reconstructing a truly public and free universal health system and, on the other hand, with the operation of a social clinic-pharmacy of solidarity in our city. A clinic that will offer on regular basis and without any financial burden to visitors, a primary health care to everyone without any exceptions, the non-insured and socially excluded Greeks and foreigners, and that will try and put a lot of pressure to the state in order to ensure free and necessary case-by-case secondary and tertiary care, hospitalization and rehabilitation.
- Without having any any intention, nor illusion that there is a possibility of state subrogation that abdicates all responsibilities of health care for the residents in its territory, but having full knowledge of the limits and possibilities of the solidarity in the area of health care and a firm belief that the solidarity and defense of rights besides declarative speech require some specific actions,
- We have the strong belief that the initiatives and solidarity networks of the excluded people in all areas and sectors are today necessary for the preservation of our humanity, for the preservation of the coherence of the social system, but mostly for the re-foundation of the relationships and behaviours that rebuild the collective responsibility and contradict the individualism and the exploitation of man by man,
- We have been inspired and encouraged by relevant initiatives in other cities of Greece, and many of us have experience of smaller-scale solidary actions in the area of primary healthcare and since,
- We have knowledge beforehand of the hard work that we have to face due to the enormous needs that have been developed and due to the technical and procedural difficulties in our effort to respond to the increased demand of free care,
We address to all the social and cultural bodies and labour unions of Thessaloniki, as well as all the municipal councils and elected local authorities asking for their moral and material support for the operation of a clinic that provides free primary health and pharmaceutical care, with volunteer doctors and nurses, who do not redeem solidarity and collective action at any level of social life. The material support refers to an one-time financial aid or to a steady yearly basis aid for the payment of the medical premises and its property charges, the medical equipment and pharmaceutical and medical supplies, the expenditures for the informative leaflets and all the necessary office supplies and finally, the fixed costs (electricity, phone, etc.)
- Serving a personal, collective, medical, social and movement need,
- Bringing up to the surface the tragic nature of the shortfall of healthcare of the non-insured and excluded from the national system people,
- Employing dynamics of solidarity and self-management,
- Risking being attributed the accusation of volunteering and philanthropy,
- The initiative of the solidary medical personnel in the city considers necessary the operation of a social clinic for non-insured people.
- And calls for all the medical personnel in the city to support with their presence and participation this effort.
INITIATIVE OF THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL FOR THE OPERATION OF CLINIC AND PHARMACY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY IN THESSALONIKI