In an article published in Fréttablaðið today, Kári Stefánsson, CEO of Decode Genetics, lashes out against the government’s failure to adequately support Icelandic healthcare, Eyjan reports.
He says he intends to collect 100,000 signatures among Icelanders in protest unless next year’s budget is modified to include substantially more funding for healthcare. The document signed will, in Kári’s words, “encourage Icelanders never again to vote for the parties who make up this government because of the coldness and indifference it demonstrates toward the sick and injured in our society.”
In his article, Kári points out that before being elected, the parties who now are in government criticized the leftist government for tearing down the health system from within, and promised to turn things around if elected. Now, he writes, two and a half years later, “the health care system is no better off than before, and the outlook is far from good.”
He claims the government could resurrect Landspítali University Hospital by supplying it with equipment that modern medicine calls for and experts needed to care for patient while efforts are gathered to construct a new building.
He criticizes the government for suggesting that funding for the National Church of Iceland (the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland) be increased while refusing to adequately support the hospital. He calls the lack of hospital funding “a black mark on Icelandic culture.” He says not only the government is to blame, but the nation as a whole, since it voted these people into power.
Kári expresses disappointment with the government’s deal with the failed banks and their creditors. He believes a much better deal could have been reached, providing much needed funds for the healthcare system.
He harshly criticizes Budget Committee Chairperson Vigdís Hauksdóttir’s conduct toward Hospital Director Páll Magnússon. Vigdís called Páll’s recent criticism of the lack of hospital funding “psychological violence.” Kári states the Budget Committee turned a deaf ear toward Páll’s demands and acted with “abysmal arrogance and cruelty.” “The nation is fed up,” he concludes.