ATHENS — Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras spoke of a "critical state" in health due to the renewed outbreak of the coronavirus, during a visit he paid to Evangelismos hospital in Athens on Friday.
Tsipras made a plea to the prime minister to hire more medical and nursing staff, to requisition private clinic ICUs and to provide free COVID-19 tests for all.
"Today, I had the opportunity to visit one of the pillars of the public health system, Evangelismos hospital, and to be briefed on the course of coronavirus epidemic. The conditions are critical," he said. "It is obvious that the Health System is under much greater pressure right now compared to the first phase of the pandemic. It is obvious that we did not remain safe, despite the grand pronouncements of the first phase, and there are specific liabilities, especially in reopening tourism and the economy," he noted.
He added that the greatest mistake was that time was not used properly to support public hospitals and primary health care, in order to buttress the front line of the pandemic battle.
"If there is something we can learn from the pandemic, it is to take advantage of it to support the National Health System," the main opposition leader said, charging the government with "criminal negligence that will soon lead to extreme conditions." The responsibility for that does not lie with the citizens and the doctors but with the government, Tsipras said.
Tsipras met with the heads of the clinics and with the hospital's management, and also held a meeting with the workers' union. According to party sources, workers' unions accused the government of favouring the private sector in the midst of the pandemic "The government's plam is to promote private interests in health care, under the pretext of the pandemic," the workers' representatives said.