- the continuous operation of the Psychargos Programme and the regular and sufficient funding of the Units by the State budget and the direct support of funding by NSRF, in the case of insufficient State funding;
- the immediate sufficient funding of all the Units in order to cover the costs for 2011 and 2012, through an increase of the amount foreseen in the State budget to 90 million €;
- the funding of new actions by the NSRF in order to complete the Psychiatric Reform;
- the quality assurance of the Units’ operation;
- the resolve of the operational and administrative issues of the Units (such as contractual agreements with the Ministry of Health, completion of the legal framework, evaluation, support).
- the complete implementation of the Spidla’s Agreement
ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ ΣΤΟΝ ΕΠΙΤΡΟΠΟ
We are writing to inform you that once more the Psychiatric Reform in
and its achievements are on the brink of collapse. The approved 2012 State budget for the Mental Health Units is reduced by 55 % and amounts to just 40 million €, instead of the required 90 million €. Greece
In addition to this 50 million € deficit for 2012, another 12 million € is owed to the Private Law Legal Entities from the 2011 budget, in other words the total budget deficit that we are faced with reaches a total of 62 million €.
Based on the above shortages, we are unable to cover more than 60% of the 3,000 employees’ salaries and we are unable to cover our National Social Insurance Funds Contributions, basic operational costs for the 216 mental health units, maintenance costs for the 1,500 residents at our residential structures, as well as the services offered to 35,000 mental health services users.
The NGOs of the Argos Network have already informed the Ministry of Health regarding their inability to handle the current dramatic situation and the direct threat of the closing down of many units. But, unfortunately, due to the financial crisis and the directives of the Memorandum there are increasing difficulties in finding the required funds.
The Ministry of Health through its representative Deputy Minister Mr. Marcos Bollaris, has made positive statements regarding the continuous operation of the Mental Health Units of the Private Law Legal Entities, however nothing has been done until today for finding additional funds. The unpaid employees, the huge debts to our suppliers and the current climate of uncertainty have led the units to a very critical position, where the danger of discontinuing their operation is visible, thus placing the whole Psychiatric Reform under severe threat.
Within this framework, Mr Commissioner, and with the opportunity of your forthcoming visit to Greece, we would like to kindly ask you for a meeting with the representatives of the Argos Network, in order to inform you in more detail regarding the critical situation of the Greek Mental Health Sector and the need for urgent interventions in order to avoid its collapse. It has to be noted that if the 216 Mental Health Units that are operated by Private Law Legal Entities stop their operation, this will amount to an inability to cover 35% of the mental health services and the collapse of
’s Psychiatric Reform. Greece
’s fiscal crisis, it is also necessary to utilize the available NSRF funds with the immediate realization of the actions and the horizontal programmes. The Private Law Legal Entities and the Argos Network have proposed three horizontal programmes (a. the operation of 100 protected apartments, b. the psychosocial support of the unemployed and c. the Complete Community Care of people with mental health problems) that will contribute to covering the population’s mental health needs and to the completion of Greece’s Psychiatric Reform and will indirectly ensure the viability of the existing units. Greece
Also, in this framework, we would like to ask ESF to investigate the possibility of a direct funding support of the existing units, through the available NSRF funds in order to support directly the viability of the existing units and to ensure the continuation of Greece’s Psychiatric Reform.
Based on the above, we consider that pressing the Ministry of Finance is necessary. We would also like to inform you that as a last resort means of claiming the necessary funds required for the operation of the mental health units and for covering the employees’ salaries, the Argos Network and the NGOs that it represents will resort to an out-of-court settlement in order to ensure:
We thank you in advance for your interest and support and we would be grateful if we could have a meeting with you during your visit to Athens in order to present to you in person the situation of the psychiatric reform in Greece and discuss possible ways of intervention that would enable us to find a solution for the thousands of people with mental health problems and employees who work in the mental health sector.
With kind regards,
The Legal Representative of the
President of the
Network Coordination Committee ARGOS
PhD in Social Policy
at 12:17 μ.μ.