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19 November, 2013

Greece: Ten cancer patients died because they couldn't pay for exams!

While Obama tries to launch Obamacare in the US, neoliberal policies destroy the Greek public health system

Ten cancer patients unjustly died because they couldn't pay for their exams on time, as the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko reports. At the same time, a continuous crime is taking place at the Evangelismos hospital, where due to lack of personnel, extremely toxic and dangerous drugs for chemotherapy are diluted in the corridors rather than in the special protected champers, while the workers faint and have suspicious symptoms.

The Social Clinic of Helliniko brings shocking data about the economic situation of cancer patients (Oncology Conference). Members of the Clinic, report that ten people lost their lives because they couldn't pay for the necessary exams on time.

"Through undoubtable data of 126 patients which the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko helped be transferred at the General Hospital Sotiria for chemotherapy, and [data] were presented at the Oncology Conference on November 17 in Athens, our clinic proved the cruel reality which the uninsuranced cancer patients face."

60% of these patients came to the Clinic on third, fourth and fifth month after the initial diagnosis. In all cases the tumor grown and nearly everyone had to go through exams from the start, while in many cases, the tumor evolved in an even advanced stage.

Meanwhile at the Evangelismos hospital the toxic medicines of chemotherapy are diluted in the corridor and in the supervisor's office, while this process should be done in special rooms with secure equipment and filters for isolating dangerous particles. Despite their repeated complaints to the administration, workers haven't seen any change yet.

The administration committed that would hire special staff for this process until November 10, so that the mixing of dangerous drugs would be done in the special champers. However, nothing has changed so far and staff faces continuous danger.

Today, the largest hospital in the country conducts 60 to 65 chemotherapies per day. Nearly 30 of them conducted inappropriately on the seventh floor of the hematologic department where workers are exhausted and worried since they face serious health danger.

Key parts from the article by Dimitra Efthimiadou in Greek language here:

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