Social Clinics and Pharmacies

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Via Solidarity for All - Greece:

"In the sector of health there are social clinics and pharmacies that serve mainly the uninsured and unemployed people. Their function is supported exclusively by the volunteer work and donations of the simple people, usually only in kind. Some (very few and left-wing) municipalities also supported them by way of offering remises. A picture of the degree of mobilisation of the people can be drawn by the data of the Metropolitan Clinic of Ellinikon-Argyroupoli, in which there were 60 volunteers active in the first months of its function (spring of 2012) while now there are 150. All decisions of the social clinics are taken in their general assemblies, with the equal participation of all, the medical specialised personnel and the unskilled volunteers, while there is effort to involve their patients, too. A network of social clinics-pharmacies is already developed, trying to give immediate and practical solutions to phenomena of lack of medicins, vaccines etc. through the collection and reuse of drugs not needed by the initial users. Data from three social clinics from the south up to the north of the country, register in fact the increasing size of the need for medical and pharmaceutical treatment. The Social Clinic of Rethymnon (Crete) served 780 persons in 2008/9, 1100 in 2010 and 1580 in 2011. The Metropolitan Clinic of Ellinikon (south-east Athens area) since its inception in February 2012 until August, served 1200 incidents while between September 2012 and November, it served 1800. Correspondingly, the Social Clinic of Thessaloniki, between November 2011 and November 2012, had a total of 6000 visits."


From the Tepsie report, Informal Citizen Networks in Greece:

"During the last few years the Greek health system has almost collapsed. Many medical centres and hospitals have been closed or merged, and the cuts in funding of public hospitals have resulted in basic shortages. In response to this situation several social clinics and pharmacies have emerged. These initiatives were set up by doctors, nurses and pharmacists who provide their services voluntarily and for free. The necessary equipment and medicines are paid for by them or donated by people or pharmacies that want to collaborate.

This “social health movement” has spread throughout Greece. Social clinics and social pharmacies can be found in almost every prefecture of the country.

For example:

• Athens Solidarity Social Clinic ( Self organised network of doctors that provides basic healthcare to people that due to current austerity measures have no access to hospitals and health centres.

• Social Clinic of Solidarity of Thessaloniki ( Is a social clinic which provides free of charge primary health care across all uninsured and socially excluded, Greeks and immigrants. The clinic’s main aim is also to put pressure on the state ensuring a free of charge secondary and tertiary care, hospitalisation and rehabilitation.

• Ethiatreio ( Social Clinic located in Rethymno, Crete a voluntary effort of doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, dentists and volunteers from those working in the municipality. It has been operating since July 2008 at a place offered by the Municipality and since October 2009 at new premises to move to new premises to the increasing attendance activities in other areas and include actions and other volunteers such as pharmacists, gynecologists and dentists.

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