Last day of February in a village in Lamia, Central Greece: Passersby are shocked to see an elderly man and a woman sitting on the ground of a land plot. they beaver form cold and are unable to stand on their feet. They are just sitting there, on the bare soil, next to their old house. The neighbors rush to bring blankets and water and call the emergency service. What had happened?
The elderly, a brother and his sister, had arrived to their village in Lamia in Central Greece after they were released from the state hospital for mental ill “Dafni” in Athens, 300 km away. As their home was sealed by the municipality and judicial authorities, they had nowhere else to go except to sit down on the cold grass of the land plot…
According to local LamiaReport.gr, the elderly were scavengers living for several years in a home without electricity and water and in appalling conditions.
Two months ago, justice intervened, sealed the house and sent the couple to Dafni.
With the new health care and Troika-imposed reform, Dafni has to release patients after a short period of time. According to LamiaReport, the couple was released from Dafni on Thursday.
It is not clear why they were sent to a mental ill hospital and not to an elderly nursery home for poor.
But in Greece of strict austerity and a social state in collapse, taking someone to mental ill hospital is the easy bureaucratic way to get rid of humans at the end of their lives.Furthermore the latest “reforms in health care” foresee that mentally ill patients are to be released form the psychiatric units regardless of their conditions.
“Mentally ill patients will stay maximum three months in the hospitals’ psychiatric units and be released regardless of their condition.
There is the option of a three-month extension but without further extension of even one day.
The health minister’s theoretical plan foresees that these patients can be relocated to specialized hostels or boarding houses or return to their homes. The transfer of 400 chronic ill psychiatry patients will have to be concluded by 31.12.2013.”(KeepTalkingGreece on Nov 25/2013)
The case triggered an outcry in the local society and many criticized the church for failing to help these people.
PS A kick in the ass of those who have nothing to offer to the society, are unable to take care of themselves and do not even have a pension. Shame on you, Greece!