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Politics

Tsipras: Post-Pandemic Times Will Show Whether Value of Humans Is Above Profits

ATHENS — The social state and the health system were a SYRIZA priority during its term in government, despite the fiscal pressure, party leader Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday in an online conference.

At the conference by the ygeiamou.gr site on "Health's social aspect", Tsipras said that his vision called for a "new National Health System (NHS) that prioritizes life" instead of discriminating among people on the basis of their financial capacity." He also charged the right with standing critically against the NHS, when its founding was being voted on in 1983. This clash between two entirely opposed mentalities in the health sector is very old, he noted, with the health sector being used by conservative governments to enrich large private interests.

During the 2010-2014 period, the main opposition leader said, "an extensive zone of health poverty" was created, and when Syriza came to power in 2015 its priority was to "guarantee the equal access of uninsured people to health and medical services" and to reorganize the NHS, a goal he said was met despite difficulties. The number of people who were not able to have that access dropped from 14.4% of the population in 2016 to 10.4% in 2018.

He also said that investments in health surpassed 300 million euros, and the system was boosted more than in any other time in the last 20 years with permanent doctors, nursing staff and other health professionals, numbering in total over 19,000.

Today Greece is at a critical junction that will show whether human beings and lives are valued above profits, Tsipras said.

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