Δευτέρα, Μαΐου 28, 2012
How the Euro debt collectors are killing Greeks by taking away their medicines
Greek pharmacists staged a one-day strike protesting the fact that the government owes them EU1 billion, which has created major shortages of medicines, which are killing Greeks. They say that this has caused an “emergency situation” in which cancer and cardiac patients are in a panic because they cannot get the medications, either because they can no longer afford them or because they simply are not available.
“I give it 15 days. If the European Union doesn’t release the loans it has promised by then, there will be scenes of utter chaos here,” said Dimitris Karageorgiou, secretary general of the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association. “The situation will become dramatic. Already we have cancer sufferers going from hospital to hospital to try and find drugs, because no one can afford to stock them,” he said. “If the shortages get worse, God knows what we will see.” Since the bailout started, he said “120 pharmacies have closed in Athens alone because of pressures from delays in payments for prescriptions from social security funds.
Whatever you read about shortages is little. There are about 300 medicines that are no longer readily available. It’s tragic.” “The situation with anti-cancer drugs is out of control, but what can we do?” one pharmacist said. “Because we’re not being reimbursed, we can’t pay suppliers, who can’t pay the companies. It’s a chain effect.”
Under orders from the EU-ECB-IMF Troika, Athens amalgamated within months 13 social security funds into one body, the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY), which has had the effect allowing the government to centrally control the disbursement — in reality, non-disbursement — of funds.
“Record unemployment and mass emigration has meant that there is very little money coming into the funds,” Karageorgiou said. “You tell me. How can a pensioner, surviving on little more than 400 euros a month, afford cancer medications that cost 380 euros?”
There is great fear that if Greece is forced out of the euro, it will not be able to pay for medicines, and already pharmaceutical companies are preparing emergency measures.
With suicides among desperate ill and elderly becoming almost commonplace, a 90-year-old woman and her 60-year-old son committed suicide together by jumping off a high building, holding hands as they jumped. The son, who was a musician, had left a note on a blog, saying he not only could not afford care for his mother, but did not even have enough money to eat. Part of the note was a poem denouncing those responsible for the crisis and saying that the suicide was an act of defiance, because they did not want to be further degraded.
Last month, the entire nation was outraged when 77-year-old pensioner Dimitris Christoulas took his life in Syntagma Square, leaving a note saying he could no longer afford to live, and was committing suicide as an act of resistance.