Greece’s financial crisis
Greece was faced one of the most severe financial crisis in between 2009 and 2010. The main industry of Greece in those days was tourism and one third of the population were the government workers or public servant. Greece was belonged to EU. In 2011, EU and IMF, international monetary fund, had decided to cut Greece’s debts by a further 40 billion euros which approx 51 billion us dollar and released 44 billion bailout money and aid to them.
Greece made an agreement with it based on the condition which was the 20% cut of the pension, 150,000 numbers cut of the public servant and increase consumption tax rate from 19% to 23%. What nobody had really properly considered is the impact of the austerity measures in particular the detrimental effect on that most vital of public services: health care.
What happened to Greece then
What happened to Greek since then. The suicide rate have increased by 45 percent during last for four years due to a mental ill-health. Greece still has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe. The Greek health system is buckling under the strain of massive budget cuts, an expanding client list and worsening public health. There had been lots of strikes by people including the medical doctors associations. The medical services had been stopped frequently by them.
Launched Social clinic
A greek doctor, Giorgos Vichas, when he looked around and saw what the economic crisis meant for more and more patients, he decided to start providing free health care in mid 2011. He rallied a number of his colleague friends, and together they started their clinic in the southern part of Athens, which was The Metropolitan Community Clinic in Athens or known as called “Social clinic”.
Dr. Giorgos Vichas – Founding director, Social clinic
– The Metropolitan Community Clinic in Athens
He have founded a team of some 100 doctors and 150 assistants. Many of them have a paid job apart from this work; some are jobless. The Metropolitan harbors all kinds of specialists: eye doctors, gynecologists, physical therapists, orthopedists, psychologists, cardiologists, dentists. The clinic offers diagnostics and medical treatment.
There are now around 40 community clinics operating across Greece. Dr Vichas’s clinic has 9,500 patients on the books but with a nationwide unemployment increase of 20% since last year (215,735 people) the number of people flocking to the Helliniko clinic is growing fast.
What is the social clinic
The clinic offers diagnostics and medical treatment. On top of that, the chronically ill can come back for medication, follow-up examinations or psychological support. Since the clinic started up, some 25,000 patients have been treated. The Metropolitan accepts no financial donations.An understandable decision, given the recent revelations of multi-million-dollar frauds by some Greek NGOs.
Giorgos Vichas said that, “If someone drops in offering a hundred thousand dollars. I write down on a piece of paper what our needs are and tell them, Here you are and you can go and buy it wherever you want and bring it to us.’ That’s how donors get to know us and will get to know the patients we’re helping.
The goal of the clinic is to offer primary health care to all patients who are uninsured, jobless or poor and destitute. They are also fighting to have a PUBLIC system which can offer health care to all citizens whether they are insured or not.
You can change the world
People says that my country would never listen my voice. People believe that you can never change your country. However, I believe that the county can be changed by a determined person like him so that you can change the world.