October 2017 Newsletter





October 2017

In October 2017 MCCH:

  • Conducted 546 patient visits
  • Our psychologists saw 38 patients.
  • We distributed baby formula and diapers to 141 children
In October we received donations of medicine and medical supplies from 219 individuals in Greece.  A significant amount of medicine and supplies came from the following sources:

  • One social solidarity pharmacy
  • One municipal organization –a social pharmacy
  • Four churches
  • Two cultural associations

And finally, we received significant donations from

  1. Organizations, friends of Greece in Germany, Switzerland, and Norway who have supported us many times.
  2. Individuals from France, Italy, Germany.

With these offerings and the very hard work done by our volunteers who check, organize and insure that each package of medicine that reaches us is in proper order, we can provide medicines to our own patients, and can respond to requests coming in from organizations throughout Greece.

The pharmacy of MCCH was able to not only serve our patients, but to pass medicine on to others.  In October we were able to fulfill requests for medicine and medical supplies to:

  • Three requests from the Social Pharmacy at Vyrona
  • Two requests from the Social Clinic in New Smyrni
  • One request from the St. Anargyroi Institution
  • One request from the Solidarity Club of N. Kosmos
  • One request from the Social Clinic of Arkalochorio, Crete
We also responded to requests from various organizations so they could assist patients in filling prescriptions.

  • Seven urgent requests from homeless fellow-citizens.
  • One request from the group Emfasis
  • One request from the Social Clinic in Piraeus
  • One request from the Social Pharmacy, Glyfada
  • One request from the Social Services, for the refugee organization Elaona
  • Five requests from Medin Estia, medical intervention
  • Four requests from KYADA Municipality of Athens
  • Six requests from Caritas Greece program for hosting refugees
  • One request from Solidarity Now
  • 36 requests from Praksis

Additionally we took the initiative to distribute medicines, special milk and food supplements to Community Services departments of Public Hospitals

The volunteers of MCCH work to ensure that, as far as they are able, no resources are lost.

We want those contributing items to our clinic to know that each gift is deeply appreciated and fully utilized and gives relief to those going through difficult times.

In October 2017, we were visited by:

  • Mrs Rodothea Seralidou with a group from Germany from the newspaper TAZ
  • Benjamin Beck an activist and student from Halle, Germany researching his thesis on Austerity an Self-organization
  • Georgia Bekridaki from the Syn. Allois partnership with 10 people from Spain – 31 – 66 years of age, from the Sodepaz, Madrid organization
  • Nichele Jean Francois, from France
  • Christos Karipidis with Catherne Catella and Shu Aiello from Marseilles, France for a documentary on Greece (producer http://www.cinephage.fr)
  • Constantin Grohn, Pastor of St. Johannis-Harvestehude together with a group of young people from Hamburg.
  • Tobias Andersson, Professor at Malmo in Sweden
  • Zavar Rabady and Dr. Susanne Rabady from Austria, directors of the Lower Austrian Society of General Practice and Family Medicine.
On 18 October 2017 Dr. George Vichas represented MCCH at a presentation of European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.  He presented facts and figures giving a true picture of the health system in Greece along with the criminal effects that continue – as does austerity.  The EESC has taken the initiative to investigate the effects of austerity on the society of three countries, Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

In the discussion that followed, there seemed to be a confused picture as to the state of the health system in Greece

At the end of the discussion, the representative of the EESC noted that all of the information we presented will be included in the report he will make to the European Union.

Those who followed the talks (and fortunately there were many) heard among other things, that infant mortality rose in Greece from 4.0 in 2015 to 4.2 in 2016 (per 1,000 births.  The death rate rose even more in 2017, the expenditures for public hospitals were reduced by 200 million Euro in 2017, The large hospitals have already run through their budgets for this year.  Hospitals have not been paid for hospitalization and diagnostic tests for uninsured patients by EOPPY.  As to the infamous “reform” of the Primary Health Care system, heart attacks among the unemployed and uninsured have risen dramatically.

Many friends were present at the event.  Calliope and Hinrich Stechman of “Friends of Helliniko” of Hamburg and Ulla and Wolf from a similar supporting group in Brussels and Hose Vivas, Jane and Brigit Urban. Whom we thank very much for this event and for their very warm hospitality.

– 31/10  Again this year, a concert for MCCH in Moschato organized by Mr. Loridas with Music Virus, Jack to Jack, Pelekys, Periklis-Nadia, and the fantastic youngsters of Mrs. Irini Amaxopoulou from the music workshop “Musical Wanderers and the association of disabled “Open Embrace”.  The entrance “fee” to the concert was gifts of needed medications, diapers, and infant formula.

MCCH published three Press Releases in October 2017

1) Helliniko: the planning and the mis-information continue
2) Closing Social Pharmacies! What’s going on?
3) Shrinking Budgets Mean Cancer Patients Wait

For the third year in a row, broadcast of the show “Solidarity on the Air” of the Metropolitan Community Clinic of Helliniko on the First Program of Greek Radio (ERT) every Saturday at 15:00 on frequencies 91.6 and 105.8 and via internet at http://webradio.ert.gr/proto/. (In Greek)
October 2017 featured these programs:1. 17/10 “Medicine in the Years of the Memorandum:
How much does medication cost the insured; What’s happening with other supplies?
2. 14/10: “Non-prescription Drugs” What are they and how much do we pay.
3. 21/10: “Narcotics, OKANA and its problems”.
4. 28/10: “NO, then and now” The people, who responded NO to Italian-German fascism and the militarty occupation of 1940-1944 then and those who again say NO to the economic occupation of the memorandum from 2010 – 2017 now. A NO stated every day through word and deed, using the weapons of self-reliance and solidarity.
The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helleniko is a volunteer clinic providing cost-free primary health care to the uninsured, the unemployed who are without resources. We believe that that ALL should have equal and cost free access to the public health system.

“As long as austerity and the brutality continue, we will continue to combat it…”

Communications Team
Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helleniko