Parliamentary committee probing health sector scandals begins work

A parliamentary committee tasked with investigating prominent scandals in the health sector in the period 1997-2014 started its work on Wednesday, with parties agreeing on the main topics on which the debate will focus on.

“The scope to which the investigation could potentially spread is enormous,” committee president Antonis Balomenakis said at the meeting, adding that the main concern should be “to evaluate and actions and priorities, exhausting the margins of investigation.”

The committee will debate the following three main issues:

-The surge in pharmaceutical expenditure and hospital operating costs, the over-pricing of drugs, and medical devices, the mechanisms and procedures for pricing, the negotiation of acceptable prices, the compensation for expensive medicines and other materials, the harmful contracts, the administrative actions and the regulatory acts of ministers and their supervisors.

-The management of Public Law and Private Law legal entities in the health sector and primarily at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Supplies, contracts for the provision of support services, materials and work charges, recruitment of personnel, triangular type of transactions with companies and suppliers and advertising expenses.

-The case of Henry Dunant Hospital: The board, the management, causes of overcharges, loans and their consequences, its sale through an auction with a single bidder of private interests, possible damage to the assets of the hospital and the opaque harmful transfers of assets.

Participating lawmakers agreed on the need to shed light on the cases mentioned and propose solutions, adding “people have expectations from this committee”. It was also agreed that the committee should not be used for partisan expediency.