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Thursday, October 31, 2013

“Infotainment” on the Popular TV Show “Eniko” with the Minister of Health




PRESS RELEASE

“Infotainment” on the Popular TV Show “Eniko” with the Minister of Health


Dr. George Vichas, a volunteer doctor with the Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helleniko, took part in a “Town Hall” style discussion on the popular television program “Enikos” with the Minister of Health Mr. Andonis Georgiadis on Monday 21 October.  Dr. Vichas participated in the belief that during show some of the key areas of public health would be discussed.  Instead, during the first 90 minutes of the show, presidents of a variety of organizations paraded in front of the camera, while the Minister of Health put them in their place with a few barbed comments. 

After a persistent effort, a 42 year old long term unemployed and uninsured citizen, FINALLY was able to seize the floor.  From him, the minister heard an emotional outpouring on the truly massive health problems faced by uninsured citizens.  The Minister did not respond effectively to these comments.  The show’s host, Mr. Chatzinikolao then gave the microphone to Dr. Vichas who stated the problems faced by 3,000,000 uninsured citizens.  He effectively kept the discussion on target pointing out that the accounting measures taken by the ministry were being paid for in lives lost.

It is a shame that a public debate took place under such circumstances – when it was supposed to answer the public’s questions.  It is indeed surprising that this Minister of Health (chosen for this assignment only four months ago and, according to his own account, still unfamiliar with the health area) knew of problems involving the health area that had first appeared as far back as 2000 and used such informed rhetoric to silence his astounded listeners.  For the sake of argument, let us imagine that this minister is gifted and well informed on all problems concerning health.  Let us also imagine that certain individuals asked questions that the common people might have asked.  Let’s imagine again that the whole show was organized to inform the dazed public.  But the end result was to blur the health issues in question.

When the Minister of Health can prattle on for three solid hours and mention almost nothing other than “accounting” and “money” then even a fool finally realizes that there is something seriously wrong.  Cannot the distinguished minister understand that he is responsible for the lives of his citizens?  Cannot the distinguished minister realize that by “cutting costs” he is also snuffing out LIVES?

Of course he realizes it.  No matter what games the media plays in the interest of “infotainment” the burning truth is still there, as bright as the sun.  Three million citizens are shut out from the public health system and this has simply, but surely terminated many lives.  What is the minister’s answer to this? 






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