Our Primary Healthcare vision for Athens
Athens has a long history and tradition of social policy which aims to safeguard the health of the citizen, provide social care, promote social cohesion and protect the rights of municipal residents. This tradition must be based on scientifically-proven fact, possess a clear, flexible and well-organised administrative framework and offer development potential. The fragmentation of organisational and administrative agencies which plan healthcare and social welfare policy impedes the universal implementation of relevant programmes.
Our vision involves the functional restructuring of the healthcare and social welfare system in an effort to develop an effective, efficient and fully-fledged model of Primary Healthcare and Social Welfare with a well-defined role for the City of Athens. The City of Athens is determined to create an extensive network which covers the needs of all citizens. In a city of major social changes and disparities, the time has come for all citizens, privileged or otherwise, to feel secure in the knowledge that they have access to medical and social care, close to their home, whenever they need it.
The new Municipal Authority is determined to establish a comprehensive system of primary healthcare and social welfare services. The goal is to provide every citizen with a comprehensive range of health and social care services which are ample, reliable and easily accessible.
We are creating a health and social care network which will be funded by the state, European Union, the private sector and other sources with the aim of providing better healthcare services at Municipal Health Clinics and implementing a series of initiatives for children, youth, women, families, senior citizens, substance users, individuals with disabilities, homeless persons and migrants.
The city requires a central plan for its Health and Social Welfare policy. We are incorporating the healthcare element in the municipality's overall policy. We are investing in comprehensive actions based on the model of state- and EU-funded initiatives which will be introduced throughout the city's districts. These initiatives combine social action and technical intervention, aimed at the overall upgrading of a locality, its infrastructure and the quality of life of its residents.
We must remain conscious of the fact that we are not simply facing great problems. It is, above all, time to take advantage of great potential and great opportunities, which should not remain untapped. We believe that the state, in our case the city, owes it to citizens to exploit the possibilities of healthcare and social welfare policy.
Putting the vision into practice...
On 22/08/2007 Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis signed a Programmatic Agreement to upgrade the existing seven City of Athens Municipal Health Clinics to District Health Centres.
The clinics' technical infrastructure and biomedical equipment is in the process of being upgraded with new devices and diagnostic units.
At the same time, the number of medical, nursing and assistant staff employed at the clinics is increasing in order to offer citizens more comprehensive health and social care services.
Citizens will soon be able to obtain information and receive assistance by telephoning 15190.
Citizens will be able to use this telephone service to book appointments and obtain information on Municipal Health Clinic services and the clinics' operating hours.
Once the functional restructuring of the City of Athens healthcare and social welfare system is completed, a specific range of medical services focusing on preventive healthcare and education will be available to all Athenians, namely: