At the end of March there was neither a doctor nor a psychologist within the structure. Palestinian refugees told RSA that there are women even in late pregnancy who have not received the necessary medical help. “My wife is pregnant. (…) We went to the hospital and she had a blood test; when she asked for an ultrasound she was told to go to a private doctor. All we want is for a gynaecologist to see her (…) I don’t want her to give birth here (…) Since she hasn’t conducted an ultrasound, we don’t know exactly what month she is in, we count on ourselves” a resident in the structure told us.
Staff shortages in the hospital of the island are significant, with all that this entails for the local population and refugees in need of medical care. The fact that Kos’ hospital does not have an interpreter makes communication with patients significantly more difficult. Interpretation is extremely inadequate as it is conducted either by a compatriot accompanying the patient, or by another emergency solution. Due to the lack of a psychiatrist in the hospital of Kos, psychiatric cases involving those administratively detained are transferred, with the escort of police and even handcuffed, to the Leros Mental Hospital. In addition, there have been cases where severe psychiatric cases in the reception procedures in the CCAC, instead of being referred, have their “geographical restriction” lifted and are obliged to seek medical care elsewhere on their own.
According to the UNHCR, the organisations METAdrasi, Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and PRAKSIS provide legal assistance within the CCAC: METAdrasi with two lawyers (one position is currently vacant), GCR with one lawyer and PRAKSIS (providing legal assistance to unaccompanied minors in the “safe area”) with another. In addition, Equal Rights Beyond Borders operates in the CCAC with four members.
*Names have been changed for privacy and security reasons.