Doctors of the World Greece: Figures Will Alarm European Institutions

Interview with Nikitas Kanakis, Spokesperson for Doctors of the World Greece

“The meeting of the 14 different Directors of Médecins du Monde’s national organizations is a key moment for the network!” says, Nikitas Kanakis, a member of the counsel and active member of MdM Greece for the past 20 years. He explains how southern Europe (Portugal and Greece in particular) is largely affected by the economic crisis:

“We are seeing new groups of vulnerable people, mostly European citizens. They migrate to Europe for economic reasons; they eventually land in a host country and confront difficulties in terms of access to healthcare,” explained Kanakis.

“Within the global network at Médecins du Monde, one of the important evolutions in the past years has been the attention given to this particular problem: Europe is conscious of that fact that what is happening is Greece could happen elsewhere if appropriate and concrete measures are not put in place. In addition to the practical assistance and support that we receive from the network, in order to improve our projects, there is also [a need for] solidarity and concern for the Greek situation. The European report on access to healthcare for vulnerable people, that we presented last April in Brussels, has emphasized this worrisome trend: at this point, 50% of patients from Médecins du Monde Greece are Greek.”

Nikitas has been active with Médecins du Monde since he was a student, and the bearing witness component is essential for him. “Europe must know that the relative prosperity within the union does not mean it is everywhere: healthcare is not accessible for every one. With the figures in our report, we have [information] to alarm the European institutions.”