“S is 31 years old. He arrived in Italy a little over a month ago, having made an exhausting journey on foot from Pakistan to Milan, via the Balkan route. To make the journey even harder, one of his feet was horribly broken and went untreated.
The building, located near the “Fratelli De Filippo” public park in the Ponticelli area, was given by the Municipality of Naples and renovated and equipped by EMERGENCY, with the contribution of the Tavola Valdese and using the funds collected with the SMS donation campaign “La salute è un diritto di tutti” (“Health is a right for everyone”). It’s precisely this firm belief that underlies all EMERGENCY’s work in Italy, where the right to be treated is recognised by law but, in practice, is inaccessible for a growing number of people (both foreigners and Italians) who have no access to medical care.
The Clinic will be open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, offering basic healthcare services free of charge along with social-medical counselling on how to access the national health service for people who have difficulties in accessing it. In addition, a clinic is available for injections, the assessment of vital health indicators, and monitoring of therapy and medication.
The work of the clinic should also help curb the number of unnecessary visits to A&E local facilities, thereby reducing the long waiting times and over-stretched services in those departments.
“We’re pleased about the opening of the Ponticelli clinic — the outcome of an agreement with the Municipality of Naples. We’re working more and more here in Italy to offer treatment and assistance so that the more vulnerable groups can obtain healthcare too, without any sort of discrimination,” said Cecilia Strada, president of EMERGENCY.
EMERGENCY began working in Italy almost ten years ago, playing its part in the sphere of immigration and social hardship.
In 2006, EMERGENCY opened an Outpatient Clinic in Palermo to provide free healthcare for migrants. Today, EMERGENCY is working in another 6 Italian cities — Marghera, Polistena, Castel Volturno, Naples, Bologna and Milan. With its mobile clinics, EMERGENCY offers free medical treatment in the countryside of southern Italy and to the migrants that arrive on the shores of Sicily.
“It felt like a dream, but tomorrow it will all be real. The local authority has given its full backing to the scheme, and as of tomorrow there’ll be not only a clinic in Ponticelli but also a place of solidarity and welcome based on a concern for others, for those who’re left behind because of poverty and need. Our thanks to EMERGENCY for really believing in this project, together with us” said the Mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris.