Greek PPC Cuts Electricity to 235 Bed-Ridden Seniors 80-90+ Years Old in Athens Hospice

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 For a bill of 866 euro Greek Public Power Company (DEH) cut the electricity supply to an Athens Hospice hosting 235 bed-ridden seniors who average age is between 80 and 90+ years old. The strange thing is that the bill expires in upcoming August 3rd, 2012.

According to daily To Vima , only the sum of €98.77 is for electricity. The rest is €600.29 for emergency property tax and €166.94 for municipality fees and state broadcaster ERT.

On Thursday a PPC unit visited the Hospice (Foundation for Incurable) in Kypseli district of Athens and interrupted the power supply leaving the elderly and the personnel without electricity and air-conditioner in the midst of the summer.

A representative from the hospice told To Vima, that the Treasure istlef had sent them a letter assuring that the Foundation is exempted form the emergency property tax because of its charitable purpose.

Furthermore, the representative said that the [newly established unified insurance fund]National Health Service Organisation (EOPYY) owes the Foundation a total amount of some 3 million euro from the current and also from previous years.

The elderly the hospice hosts are mainly pensioners from IKA (employees’ insurance fund) and OGA (farmers’ insurance fund). The EOPYY come sup for the expenses of the hospice.

As a result of the EOPYY debts and the inability of the hospice to cover expenses, food and pharmaceutical staff suppliers have stopped to deliver on credit with the effect that the 235 patients have not eaten meat since one and a half month.

That malnutrition and deterioration of the patients’ health status has already begun especially for bed-ridden patients in need of food supplements due to persistent sores, infections of the respiratory and urinary tract, severe anemia, etc.

There were serious shortcomings in health care and medicine material for the bedridden and disabled patients, such as ointments, multivitamin preparations, eye drops, antimicrobial, gauze, diapers, etc.

The 170 strong personnel force (doctors, paramedics, nurses etc) has not been paid since last March.

According to Chairwoman of the Board of Hospice, Ioanna Iliadi, they have been trying for the last two months to find a solution to the problem “but all doors were closed.”

The Hospice has already sent an extrajudicial protest to EOPYY and sent protest letters to the Ministries of Health, Labour and Finance.

“Our next step is to appeal to a cmpetent prosecutor, as now lives are at risk,” Iliadi told To Vima.

She noted that since last year, there is an increase of applications for new admission because of the economic crisis.

Good to learn about the situation of the public facilities even on the occasion of a inappropriate electricity cut.

I assume that now that the issue became public, the local PPC director would most probably declare, “the power supply cut was a mistake…”

PS 235 low-income and sick pensioners in public hospice and thus in times of economic crisis? You think any ministry would care about?

UPDATE: With personal order of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras the power supply was reconnected after 2 hours. PPC claimed, it did not know it was a charity foundation,  as the bill wa sissued to the name of a private person. All political parties condemmed the incident.

PS Why PPC cut the electricity when the Finance Ministry issued a circular last April/May that no electricity would be cut for unpaid emergency property tax bill, the pure electricity debt to PPC was less than 100 euro and the bill was expiring on Aug 3/2012 … only PPC knows. God doesn’t…

The Supreme Administrative Court had ruled last winter that cutting the electricity because of unpaid emergency property tax is against the Greek Constitution.