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Humanitarian crisis: Greeks take action for free health care for uninsured citizens in need

As the economic crisis in Greece has turned into a humanitarian one and thousands of citizens are unable to receive basic health care and medicine,  the Athens Medical Association (ISA) and the Association of Pharmaceutical Companies will join forces with the Greek church and “adopt” a chronic-ill, unsinsured citizen in need. The program is supported by the National Drugs Organization.

In first stage, the program will provide health care and medicine on a monthly basis to 1,500 uninsured and jobless citizens in Attica and regions near the borders. The program will start next month (January 2013).

At the press conference announcing the program, the doctors underlined also the urgent need for free vaccination for uninsured children and criticized the state for having failed to take action.

Health Ministry takes action

At the same time, the Greek government seems to have broke through the bubble it has been living in and takes also action to help citizens without insurance in need of medical aid.

In recognition of the fact that hundreds of thousands of Greeks have lost access to free or state-subsidized healthcare due to the economic crisis, the government will next year grant 100,000 people passes that will allow them to be treated at public hospitals without any charge.

Sources said on Wednesday that the yearlong “tickets” will be given to the long-term unemployed and members of families that live beneath the poverty line. Most Greeks lose their access to free healthcare when their 12-month unemployment benefit expires. The jobless rate in Greece is currently just over 25 percent.

The Health Ministry is due to announce the details of the scheme in the coming days but it appears that at least initially it will span two years, with 100,000 people receiving the healthcare passes each year.

The ministry is also due to announce a program that will provide home healthcare for patients with chronic illnesses and uninsured Greeks who need outpatient treatment after surgery. The schemes are to be partly financed by European Union structural funds. (full article: ekathimerini)

Many municipalities and non-governmental organisations provide health care to people without insurance as the economic crisis and the high unemployment left thousands without job and health care. However, the needs are growing on a daily basis and thus nationwide. Not to mention the fact that after the participation increases up to 25% for perception medicine and thus for chronic-ill ordered by health ministry in September, many people cannot afford to buy medicine.

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  1. God blesses you the compassionate ones! Good news.

  2. They also need to do something about the food besides the snacks in schools. Sure the church and individuals contributing to soup kitchens are doing a lot of work but the state needs to provide more help as well so people don’t go to fascists at 50 an hour to ask for food.