The KKE member of parliament, Manolis Syntyhakis, requested the immediate staffing with all the necessary permanent staff, with the recruitment of new employees and the securing of stable state funding for the Mobile Mental Health Unit of the University Hospital of Heraklion of Crete, during the discussion of the Current Question in the Parliament.
As he explained, the mobile mental health unit of Heraklion, which serves over 4,000 patients, has been closed since October 20. It is proof of the interest of the government, the 7th Ministry of Health and the administration of PAGNI for mental health, said M. Syntyhakis. In fact, he complained that the workers were not even paid for October.
As for the new job announcement that was issued, it concerns 8-month employment with a block. “This is not how the problem of the operation of the unit is solved,” noted the KKE member of parliament.
He also added that the consequences of the shutdown are tragic for patients, as mental health structures are inadequate due to chronic understaffing. So patients turn to either the public sector with huge waits, or the private sector putting their hand even deeper in their pocket, while others are left unattended! A characteristic of the situation is that there is no appointment at the outpatient psychiatric clinics of PAGNI.
He therefore called on the government to end the disgrace of block contracts, to make the workers permanent, to fully staff the mobile unit with permanent funding and to pay the October accruals.
The Deputy Minister of Health, D. Vartzopoulos, claimed that the unit has not been closed, but is operating without the reinforcement staff hired after the earthquake in Heraklion, as the unit previously existed and operated with clinic staff
He attributed the delay in approving the money to PAGNI, due to the fact that the financial services were obliged to give priority to Thessaly. And he categorically denied permanent recruitments saying that only service card is possible, as permanence is prohibited by the Constitution as framed by the ruling parties.
M. Syntyhakis pointed out that the unit has been closed for two weeks and the treatment of patients has been left behind, while he complained that from 2020 the government was creating conditions for the gradual weakening of the unit, as it cut off funding from the state budget.
He pointed out that the government’s policy constitutes a deconstruction of mental health and undermining the public and free character of Health.