Medical consultation and treatment
Experts, who are familiar with the general medical care of the Greek population, report of a continuously worsening of the situation. They declare that “health services can only be provided with significant personal contributions – a hurdle, which for large parts of the population has become unsurmountable” (Doctors of the World).
Even more complicated is the situation for people at the so-called‘ fringe of society’. Increasingly more Greeks have no work; for many, state benefits are not enough to live on. Medical treatment – for many out of reach – is only available against cash. In many cases, they are also frightened to contact authorities or official institutions. As a result, they try to help themselves or they delay treatment with often disastrous consequences.
These people are helped by the wortundtat partner in its social-diaconal centres with a range of different surgeries. A general practitioner examines people in need, almost all of whom require treatment, prescribes medication and monitors the healing process. Since 2015, refugees and impoverished Greeks have been able to visit a dentist in the adjoining room. Apart from many adults, children also often have extremely bad teeth. For several hours each week, a gynaecologist and a paediatrician hold surgery at the centre for women and their children. One can see that many of the small patients do not get enough to eat.
Healthcare includes hygiene. Apart from surgeries, all facilities provide shower and washing possibilities. Many of the poor have no opportunity to wash themselves or their laundry regularly.
The bare necessities, which are provided by the helpers, also include the so-called ‘love meals’. During the week, these free evening meals are attended by 200 to 300 people each day who come to the big in-house dining hall. These groups are alternating so that everybody can benefit.
Basic supplies also include a clothes chamber. People, whose only possession are the clothes they are wearing, are grateful for the replacement of a lost garment.
Help when things are desperate
Giving support and advice when a visit to the authorities is required, explaining and interpreting at the specialist doctor, assembling a food parcel for a bedridden hungry patient or just providing a place to rest for a while. Wherever possible, our partner in Athens also takes care of urgent needs.
Apart from providing these small services, we also keep our eyes open when immediate help is needed on a larger scale. The latest example is the project on the Isle of Lesvos, which was launched within only a few weeks during the late summer of 2015.