The first step of establishment of the Social Clinic of Solidarity was the call towards other health bodies to state firstly their availability, based on the declaration in the first assembly of the initiative of the solidary health bodies, which were the ones that took over the health support of the 50 immigrant hunger strikers. After this availability was secured and seemed that we could start with the establishment of a pathological, pediatric, neurological, psychiatric and dental department, and a pharmacy (from where every non-insured person could receive its medical prescription), we moved on to the initial disclosure of our intentions via press releases and radio interviews, as well as finding the appropriate venue.

After 5 months of efforts, we were given by the Thessaloniki Labour Center the entire first floor of a building, which houses the training seminars of the workers' welfare foundation and hosts the classes of Odysseus for immigrants (Vardaris, Esopou 24). This floor is consisted of 2 rooms for the main consulting-examination rooms, one room for the pharmacy, one single large room for the waiting area, reception and establishment of a dental office, bathrooms and a small kitchen area. With one-month volunteer work, the space was properly shaped (removal of useless materials, dividing walls, water supplies and drainages for the equipment of the dental office, paintings), the examination rooms and the dental office were equipped, the shelves of the pharmacy were installed, the telephone land line was secured (0030-2310520386) for the appointments. It must be pointed out, here, that from our early conversations, it was cleared out a) that all the consulting rooms and dental office will operate under appointments (regular offices of primary outpatient health care) in specific time schedules (mostly afternoon-evening), having, though, at the same time the possibility, from the aspect of equipment, to treat the emergencies and b) that according to the availability of doctors and secretarial services and according to its demands, the office will expand its work schedule to mornings and weekends. The appointments in the pathological department are in every 20 minutes, in the pediatric, neurological and psychiatric department are in every 30 minutes and in the dental department are in every 45 minutes, while a health card will be filled for each patient that will include his medical history, basic demographic and socio-ecomic characteristics and his results examinations. For the equipment of the offices, we used donations from people who responded to our initial call, grants from relatives of deceased co-workers of ours, and finally, our own financial contributions. Also, some chiefs of hospitals accepted to give us simple equipment that was left unused for years. Regarding the medicines, we addressed to familiar pharmacists, as well as publicly in radios and newspapers asking from the people of Thessaloniki to give us medicines that are available at home, have not yet expired and are not used anymore (because their prescription was changed or a relative has died, etc.). We prepared a sticker for all the pharmacies in town, which are willing to help, that wrote: “The pharmacy supports the Social Clinic of Solidarity and is a collecting medicine area”. We printed a poster in the Greek and eight other languages in order to be hanged in every neighborhood of the city. In less than a month and before our opening in early November, the pharmacy was completely full after the important contribution of material and medicines from the Social Clinic of Solidarity in Kilkis and the extraordinary (beyond any expectation) contribution of people.

Besides the health bodies that offer their services to the Social Clinic of Solidarity (cardiologist, otorhinolaryngologist, and dermatologist that are available every 15 days, psychologists, midwifes and physiatrists were gradually added), many are private doctors from various specialties that have agreed to examine for free some number of patients every month in their consulting offices and microbiologists that will do for free some basic examinations in their labs. With the assistance of the secretarial services of the doctors in the Social Clinic of Solidarity, some non-insured people are referred to them, as well as to some hospital doctors that can accept to see them under special appointments without being required to go through the department of patient movement and without being asked to pay.

Any everyday administrative problems, as well as everything regarding the operation of the clinic: its finances, its outward activities, the acceptance of cooperations and aids, its interface with other ventures and collegialities and its relations to the statutory bodies, are being discussed in the meetings of the various departments (pathological, dental, psychiatric, pediatric, pharmacy, secretarial support, nurse, social workers) and in the common general meeting of all solidary people, who participate in the clinic, where all the decisions are being taken.

The electronic computerisation of the pharmacy, the secretarial support and the examination rooms has already started by solidary volunteers and we hope to be soon completed, in order to have a faster and more efficient handling of the everyday importunate needs. Also, the full development of the department of social workers has started regarding the quick ensurance of the insurance coverage from the Welfare for those patients who are entitled to it and do not know it, because the Welfare offers them free access to hospitals and health centers of the National Health System.

Going into the fourth month of its operation, the Social Clinic of Solidarity has received around 1000 visits from Greek and immigrant fellow citizens and over 80 health bodies (without including our outworkers) have offered their services to them in a friendly and esthetically pleasing environment, as a general acknowledgement.