By Maria Gregoriou
PIRAEUS Bank Cyprus will donate €1 to Volunteer Doctors Cyprus for every transaction a customer makes with their credit card from now until the end of December.
This decision was announced yesterday during a news conference at the free clinic in Nicosia by the bank’s general manager Marios Savvides.
The initiative is a continuation of a number of sponsorships that the bank has offered lately to community service groups. Some of these are Europa Donna Cyprus, the Cyprus Association of Breastfeeding and its campaign ‘the gift of life,’ the Welfare Association and the Association for People with Autism.
This latest donation is “intended to help our fellow man and his most valuable of possession, that of health,” Savvides said.
Savvides added that with this method, the bank gets their customers involved, without placing any financial strain on them.
“In this way consumerism is also boosted up to a point, which is something that our society is also in need of today,” Savvides added.
Savvides estimated that the bank will collect around €30,000 by the end of December but he will only know for sure in January. Until then, he gave Volunteer Doctors a cheque for €10,000.
Eleni Theocharous, a member of the European Parliament and the president of Volunteer Doctors commented that the economic crisis was what had led the organization to become active Cyprus by opening free clinics. Prior to this year Volunteer Doctors were better known for their work in international war zones and areas hit by natural disasters.
“A cruel financial crisis has hit our society and although I never imagined we would need to give our services in Cyprus, we are doing exactly that and will continue to do so for as long as we are needed,” Theocharous said.
She said the support given by Piraeus Bank would solve many of the problems the volunteer clinics are currently facing.
The clinics are open on weekends. Most people who visit the clinics are the unemployed and pensioners. The clinics may see up to 15 patients a day. Since August 1, when health charges were introduced in government hospitals, the number of patients visiting the clincs has risen.
Clinics are set up in Nicosia, Limassol, Paphos and Polis Chrysochous. Further clinics will soon be opened in other areas of Cyprus. Two mobile units are being prepared to visit remote villages.
The first free clinic was opened in Nicosia in March, while the Limassol clinic followed in May and the Paphos and Polis Chrysochous clinics opened in June.
Contact Numbers: Nicosia – Dr George Macriyiannis 99435735, Limassol – Dr Andreas Prokopiou 99448347, Paphos Dr Yioula Loizidou 99585033, Polis – Dr Marios Theodorou 99393226.