PM her­alds an­other cor­rup­tion probe

With de­fense in­ves­ti­ga­tion about to be­gin, new Parl’t panel to scru­ti­nize health sec­tor

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras her­alded the cre­ation of a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee to in­ves­ti­gate al­leged cases of cor­rup­tion and gross mis­man­age­ment in the Greek state health sec­tor, which is on the brink of col­lapse, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try ex­perts.

In com­ments to Par­lia­ment dur­ing PM’s Ques­tion Time, Tsipras re­ferred to “clouds gath­er­ing over the health sec­tor... one scan­dal after an­other.” Specif­i­cally, he re­ferred to the case of the Hel­lenic Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention (KEELPNO), which has been the fo­cus of a broader probe into its gen­er­ous use of state fund­ing for ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns, as well as al­leged cor­rup­tion by No­var­tis, Europe’s sec­ond-largest phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany. As re­gards the lat­ter case, Tsipras re­marked, the level of cor­rup­tion could be more acute than in the no­to­ri­ous Siemens cash­for-con­tracts scan­dal.

Tsipras was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion lodged in the House by Vas­silis Leven­tis, leader of the Union of Cen­trists, re­gard­ing the prob­lems be­set­ting the Greek health sec­tor.

The premier called for a par­lia­men­tary probe into the health sec­tor just a few days be­fore a cross-party panel is to be set up to in­ves­ti­gate years of de­fense sec­tor pro­cure­ment un­der pre­vi­ous So­cial­ist and con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ments. Wide­spread cor­rup­tion and kick­backs are be­lieved to have con­trib­uted to the huge debt pile that got Greece into its cur­rent eco­nomic mire.

On Thurs­day the Pan­hel­lenic Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion de­clared that the Greek health sec­tor is on the brink of col­lapse, cit­ing chronic short­ages in staff and equip­ment at state hos­pi­tals.

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