In May 2016, Université libre de Bruxelles launched "Emergency Greece" campaign to raise awareness about the Greek healthcare crisis and urge European authorities to take action over the alarming situation in Greek hospitals and healthcare centres.
Following the financial crisis and the introduction of austerity measures, the budget allocated to the Greek national health system has dropped by 50% since 2009. As a consequence, Greece has seen its public health indicators turn red: infant mortality has increased by 50%, while one Greek in four is now without access to basic healthcare. The spending on drugs fell by more than 30% since 2010. The country is experiencing a shortage in medical resources at all levels. Equipment, even the most essential, is unavailable and according to different reports of international organisations the country may face medicine shortage within the next few weeks. The Metropolitan Community Clinic of Elliniko refused to accept the European Citizen’s Prize awarded by the European Parliament in 2015 in recognition for their four-year struggle for uninsured Greek patients, stating that Europe is doing nothing to prevent an “avalanche of deaths”.
Prof. Yvon Englert, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at ULB and the University's Rector-Elect, travelled to Thessaloniki in early spring to carry out a project. He returned, in his own words, “appalled” by the situation. The "Emergency Greece ("Urgences Grèce") campaign launched by ULB as a response to the Greek healthcare crisis aims primarily to raise awareness about the deplorable state of Greek hospitals and healthcare centres, to collect funds for concrete assistance projects, create a network of solidarity for Greek doctors, and urge the EU authorities and politicians to bring back the Greek healthcare to the pre-crisis level.
The "Emergency Greece" campaign aims to expand in September by involving other major European universities.
More about the campaign: http://urgencesgrece.eu/en