Social inequalities occur everywhere and are related to the social structure and stratification of society, concerning the unequal opportunity to participate in the education system and the labor market, discrimination in information, as well as limited access to the health system and services. There is no clear definition that precisely defines the meaning of the term “equal access to health services”. It is often described as equal access to the treatment required regardless of financial status or social status.
The concept of equality in health is closely intertwined with the central thread of human rights that runs through all WHO declarations, from its founding – in the 1940s – to the resolutions of the 21st century. The WHO Statute (WHO, 1946) recognized, since 1946, that “the highest standards of health must be attained by all, without distinction on the grounds of race, religion, political belief, economic or social status”.
Although health care is considered a fundamental right in modern societies, there are significant inequalities in the access to and use of health care. Healthcare systems have been developed in conditions of limited resources. Therefore, an environment of widening inequality is often reproduced, which primarily affects the weaker socio-economic classes. Health systems are often discriminated against, in favor of strong social groups, while the most vulnerable populations (such as the low-income, low-educated and the unemployed) are most affected by health inequalities.
A factor that increases the phenomenon of inequality is the geographical access, that is, the location in terms of geographical area and therefore the substantial availability of health services, let alone in certified specialized units in different parts of the country.
Waiting time is an important limiting factor combined with the unequal coverage of the population and the provision of benefits to certain “noble” funds. This is reflected in the very low rates of citizen satisfaction with the health system. The income and the level of education of the population, although not always visible, are a criterion of inequality in access to health services. It turns out that people with low levels of education and low income place their level of health very low compared to a section of the population with high incomes and higher education stating the urgent need for health services of the lower socio-economic groups.
Due to the economic crisis, health expenditures have been significantly reduced, with the result that certain types of care are excluded and it is another form of exclusion, as the richer groups of citizens have the opportunity to turn to doctors who are not contracted with their insurers income classes that can not go beyond the limits of their fund, while it is already difficult for them to obtain substantial insurance coverage.
The non-profit foundation Build a Bridge was founded in May 2021 by two people who share the same vision. A world, Greek society without inequalities in the most valuable commodity: health. Makris Giorgos-Marios Gynecologist-Oncologist and Poulakaki Fiorita Breast Surgeon are active in the field of health and social welfare in the treatment of breast cancer and gynecological malignancies in Greece, supporting weak social groups with uninsured patients (uninsured) income, the long-term unemployed, patients living in remote areas with difficult access, etc.)
The purpose of the foundation is to provide comprehensive medical care and care, in certified breast and gynecological oncology units to women, from diagnosis, surgery, complementary oncological treatments and follow-up after the completion of treatments for breast cancer or for women. Scientific research shows that the treatment of women in certified / specialized breast centers and gynecological oncology clinics, has a statistically significant improvement in the prognosis of the disease (survival and disease-free period) and in the quality of life of women compared to the treatment in hospitals without specialized services.