ATHENS — Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday underlined the need for private clinics to accept COVID-19 cases, for the public healthcare staff battling the novel coronavirus on the frontline to be supported and for the start of the crucial discussion on establishing a strong and effective public national health system. Tsipras was speaking to an online event organised by the radio station "Sto Kokkino" on the topic "Pandemic COVID-19 – How did we reach this point? The next day for Greece".
Tsipras said that a new and effective national healthcare system needed more doctors and nurses and definitely not "the 600 million euros in spending cuts envisioned in the government budget".
He said Greece was going through extremely difficult moments, with thousands of deaths in just over a month, at a time when several revelations had come to light indicating that the committee advising the government was probably being asked to make decisions without having an accurate picture of how the pandemic was unfolding.
"This shows that the issue of transparency with respect to the data is very important for the management of the pandemic," Tsipras said. He also touched on the number of tests conducted daily and how variations in this number might affect the public's mood and psychology. For example, he pointed out that fewer than 1,000 confirmed coronavirus cases were announced on Sunday but the number of tests carried out on that day was actually below 10,000.
Given the "saturation" of state hospital ICU beds, the main opposition leader said, it was unacceptable that major private clinics were refusing to accept covid cases so as to remain "uncontaminated" and said it was scandalous that any 'requisitioning' that took place involved only some small clinics receiving double the normal pre-Covid fees, irrespective of the number of services they offered.