Access for the Uninsured: Who is Creating Obstacles and Why?

27 April 2017 Helliniko

Access for the Uninsured: Who is Creating Obstacles and Why?


Since its founding The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko (MCCH) has criticized policies that leave citizens – the uninsured and those without resources, with no access to the Greek public health system. Even so, we never believed that one day we would find ourselves in the unhappy position of criticizing the behavior of a good portion of the “management” of the Greek public primary health system.  In spite of the law (Law 4368/2016 access of the uninsured to the Public Health System) many of these functionaries autocratically and arbitrarily create obstacles to the access of the system for the uninsured.  These include obstacles in issuing prescriptions for medication, the procedures to approve medical exams and yet again, the procedures for issuing health booklets – a problem that was supposed to have been solved.

MCCH has fought, both inside and outside of Greece, to improve the Greek Public Health system and develop smooth, seamless, cost free access to health care for all citizens.  We have felt that it was our duty to do so.  So it follows that we cannot ignore or condone arbitrary actions which encumber individuals and keep them from the system in addition to the “normal” bureaucratic hassle.  This undermines the tremendous effort of the many health officials who honor their oath and do their very best to offer the most, having at their disposal minimal resources.

The major strength that people have in a time of crisis is solidarity.  This has kept our communities standing upright and with some dignity in these past difficult years.  Those who follow this path don’t close their eyes, nor are they silent about whoever further adds to the many difficulties of, weak and desperate patients further burdening them with unexplained fabrications and obviously ridiculous excuses.  Nor will they be silent just waiting and hoping the situation will improve on its own.

Our patients who repeatedly come to the clinic report this behavior to us.  They may seem weak and powerless to some but appearances shouldn’t deceive.  They are determined both on an individual basis and together with the social clinics to defend their right to medical care.

Law 4368/2016 provides medical cover for the uninsured.  And clearly, many members of the public and those within the health system don’t know it yet.  We feel it is of the utmost importance that the Greek Ministry of Health fully informs the doctors and administrators of the Greek public health service and the public at large of the resources available under this law.  



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of Helleniko, next to the Cultural Center of Helleniko)
Post code TK16777, Elliniko, Attiki, Greece

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