The internationally renowned professor of Medicine notes that the slogans of Kasselakis are also found in the speeches of far-right political leaders
He distances himself from SYRIZA the Sorbonne professor, Grigoris Gerotziafas after the election of Stefanos Kasselakis to the presidency of the party. Mr. Gerotziafas was not a member of SYRIZA, however, he was a parliamentary candidate for Thessaloniki, while he also participated in the party’s think tank for Health.
Mr. Gerotziafas publicized his distancing, via the DailyPharmaNews site, which writes:
The election of Kasselakis to the presidency of SYRIZA brings the first internal party reactions and resignations of executives who express fears that liberal strategies will prevail, which have nothing to do with the political demands of the radical renewalist left. One of the first resounding departures is that of the distinguished Greek scientist in France, Grigoris Gerotziafas, who in the May elections was a candidate on the ballot of SYRIZA-PS in Thessaloniki A. The professor of hematology at the Medical School of the Sorbonne University and director of the Research Department “Cancer, Vessels, Biology and Therapeutics” INSERM U938, publicizes his departure from SYRIZA through DailyPharmaNews, answering our question what the election of Kasselakis signifies for the program health of the main opposition party. The internationally renowned Greek scientist explains in detail the reasons for leaving, stating among other things that “despite the declarations and the cultivation of a climate of conflict “against Mitsotakis”, the health policy of SYRIZA-PS will be dominated by the neoliberal strategy”. While at another point in his statement he comments: “Unfortunately, until today, we have not had the opportunity to learn the positions of the new President of SYRIZA-PS regarding his policy in the area of Health. We found references to “the protection of the weak”, “the welfare state” and “the support of the National Social Security System” in his statements. However, we find these slogans in the speeches of other political leaders (even far-right ones) as well as in the declarations and programmatic statements of the Prime Minister”.
Here is Professor Gerotziafa’s position in detail:
The slogans of Stefanos Kasselakis are also found in the speeches of far-right political leaders
“Health policies are at the center of international interest for reasons related to the pandemic, the technological and pharmaceutical revolution, the climate crisis, etc. Greece has additional particularities determined by the worsening of economic inequalities, the expected deterioration of public health indicators health, the collapse of the NHS, the disastrous management of the pandemic by the Government of the Netherlands, the development and consolidation of an anti-vaccination and technophobic mood in important groups of citizens (in which some
SYRIZA-PS officials), and the sanitary bomb triggered by the recent floods in Thessaly. Unfortunately, until today, we have not had the opportunity to learn the positions of the new President of SYRIZA-PS regarding his policy in the area of Health. We found references to “the protection of the weak”, “the welfare state” and “the support of the National Social Security System” in his statements.
However, we find these slogans in the speeches of other political leaders (even far-right ones) as well as in the declarations and programmatic statements of the Prime Minister. So to answer your question, as I am not a member of SYRIZA-PS and respecting the result of the recent internal party elections, we need to assess some objective facts:
In the May/June elections, the collapse of SYRIZA-PS and the total defeat of the Left (except KKE) leads de facto to the hegemony of the ND strategy (schematically: privatization and further restructuring of the NSS) and political marginalization of the program for Public, Catholic , Quality Decentralized and Free ESO. In support of this program, I also submitted my candidacy in the parliamentary elections. With this defeat, the role of the “health think tank” of SYRIZA-PS, in which I participated, ended.
The newly elected President, inspired by the politics of the Democratic party in the USA, will logically prefer a corresponding model for the organization of the health system in Greece. But the American “welfare state” model is not universal, relies on private insurance and private care, and comes at a huge cost with tax breaks to the pharmaceutical industry and private health care groups.
The field of health as well as that of education are at the center of the neoliberal disorganization of our societies. On the question of private universities, some MPs/supporters/supporters of the new President have already positioned themselves in a converging direction with that of the Right-Wing Government. Therefore, political consistency requires their adoption of the respective positions regarding their party’s policy in the area of Health.
We conclude, therefore, that despite the declarations and the cultivation of a climate of conflict “against Mitsotakis”, the health policy of SYRIZA-PS will be dominated by the neoliberal strategy.
The public Health System together with Education are key pillars of building and maintaining social cohesion. In addition, the health level of a country’s people is an important factor affecting the rate of GDP growth.
Consequently, the elaboration and application of a comprehensive plan for public free Health with a 10-year horizon, adapted to technological developments (eg artificial intelligence) and to the developments of Medical science is the political demand of the Left Radical Technocracy. This request is not answered by the political sign of the current President of SYRIZA-PS.
The formation of the long-term plan for a Public, Universal, Quality Decentralized and Free NHS and state regulation and control of the private health sector, is a request for society and must be done through democratic consultation of social actors (medical and nursing staff, trade unions, local government, universities and research institutions, economic agents, associations of patients and users of health services, etc.). The consultation must result in the commitment of the parties to the implementation of the plan without upheavals of a minor party nature regardless of the change of governments within the framework of parliamentary democracy with the aim of rebuilding and armoring the Social State.
Director of the Research Department “Cancer, Vessels, Biology and Therapeutics” INSERM U938,
Professor of Hematology, Institut Universitaire de Cancérologie, Sorbonne Université, Paris
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