ATHENS – Greece has experienced a “crime” in healthcare because the current government “has never believed in strengthening the public health system”, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance spokesperson Nasos Iliopoulos asserted, referring to the findings of a report by professor of public health Theodoros Lytras.
Speaking on the evening news of the Star Central Greece television channel on Wednesday, Iliopoulos particularly noted the findings in the second part of the Lytras report, saying: “It is an extremely frightening fact that, based on this report, 97 pct of the people intubated outside of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) passed away, in other words that, in practical terms, anyone not intubated in an ICU died.”
The spokesperson also referred to the significantly higher mortality rate among those intubated in regional hospital ICUs compared with those intubated in Athens hospital ICUs, which was 64 pct higher, as well as the much lower ICU mortality rates seen in Europe as a whole.
“Since November last year, Greece is steadily at two times over the European average for losses as a proportion of residents,” Iliopoulos said. This indicated that “the national health system was not reinforced during the pandemic,” he added, noting that it was currently operating with “a permanent staff of 10,000 fewer people than in 2019.”
According to Iliopoulos, the country was suffering from “healthcare poverty” while the relevant European public health organisation indicator for unmet healthcare needs had jumped from 8 pct in 2019 to “more than 25 pct and is approaching 30 pct” at present.
He noted that ICUs needed more trained staff in order to be fit for purpose, accusing the government of freezing staff hiring processes that were near completion and trying to fill the gaps with temporary staff.
Iliopoulos called for a true reinforcement of the public health system, starting with pay increases for doctors and all ESY staff.
Referring to the trip by SYRIZA-PA leader Alexis Tsipras to Brussels and the phone-tapping case, the spokesperson said that the EU was carefully monitoring the developments in Greece, while the government had yet to reveal the reasons why PASOK’s leader Nikos Androulakis was placed under surveillance, nor responded on other matters, which pointed to the use of Predator software by the national intelligence service EYP.
He accused the ruling majority in parliament of turning the current parliamentary investigation into a “fiasco” and said that a future SYRIZA government will set up a more thorough inquiry.