Greek Health Minister takes Healthcare sector Unionist to Court


Greece's Health Minister Thanos Plevris on Thursday filed a report with the Supreme Court Prosecutor, in which he accused the head of the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Staff (POEDHN) Michalis Giannakos of "criminal actions".

The report concerns the union chief's claim that ICU beds were being held in reserve for "VIPs" and not being made available to all patients.

According to a ministry announcement, the report has been filed against Giannakos "and all persons responsible for spreading fake and slanderous news about the so-called existence of ICU beds that are being held for selected persons and not made available to patients."

In addition, the announcement added, "anyone spreading fake news will be called to account as they are provocatively slandering doctors, nurses and the ambulance service staff that are on the frontline in dealing with the pandemic."

The assertions made by Giannakos that ICUs were being "deliberately left vacant", which were angrily refuted by Plevris, have also prompted an investigation by the First-instance Court Public Prosecutors' Office, whose head Sotiria Papageorgakopoulou has ordered that it be included in an investigation of reports that Covid-19 patients have been intubated while not in an ICU.

Giannakos suggested that 47 of the country's 647 ICUs for Covid-19 patients were being left vacant "in order to be given, if needed, to prominent patients" while 114 patients had been intubated without gaining admission to an ICU.