The Greek branch of Doctors of the World reported in a recent press conference that more than 250,000 children in Greece do not have access to public healthcare and do not receive the necessary vaccinations.
Doctors of the World general secretary in Greece; Liana Mailli noted during the press conference that the number is a rough estimate since Greece does not provide data on inoculations to the European Union, even though every country is supposed to. Furthermore, she added that the number was valid two years ago, before the dramatic rise in refugee and migrant arrivals in the country.
“We must now add children of refugees to the old numbers, as we are not aware of the vaccinations they’ve had. All these issues create an explosive situation and there’s a real risk that diseases which had been eliminated, such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles and polio, may reappear,” she said.
In regards to the suspension of several doctors, she noted that the state-run health insurer EOPYY has been overwhelmed and cannot serve the insured, let alone uninsured children.
More than half a million children, or approximately 3 out of 10 children in Greece live below the poverty line, according to UNICEF. Furthermore, Greece is among the countries with the highest growth rate of child poverty in the world.