Two former New Democracy health minister to be probed on arthroscopy overpricing
A parliamentary committee decided ex-health minister Makis Voridis and former alternate health minister Marios Salmas will be investigated regarding medical procedure pricing, noting that there are 'suspicions of manipulation and collusion'
The majority report of a parliamentary committee on healthcare points to alleged responsibilities of ex-health minister Makis Voridis and former alternate health minister Marios Salmas regarding the pricing of diagnostic arthroscopies, noting that there are “suspicions of manipulation and collusion”
The same report indicates that there were many instances of obvious irregularities and violations and concluded that “a further investigation of the pricing of diagnostic arthroscopy is required”.
“There is especially a need to specify the responsibilities of the heads of the (administrative) organs that made recommendations, of the minister, Makis Voridis, who issued the related decision to introduce a patently wrong arrangement despite the objections of two ministry directorates as regards pricing, and of Marios Salmas, over efforts at entrepreneurial exploitation of a pricing (system) that was clearly wrongheaded and harmful to the public interest, as well as of all third parties whose involvement would have been necessary,” the majority report states.
In Greece, in parliamentary probes usually the government and each opposition party independently draft their own reports along party lines.
Regarding Voridis, the report states that “he is being checked primarily for the inadequate or even non-existent review of the decision of the Central Board of Health (KESY), for circumventing and ignoring the objections of two health ministry directorates, for the general lack of a disposition to further investigate the issue so as to protect the public health system and public finances, and for ignoring or downgrading critical issues, such as the distinction between medical procedures by KESY”. The last phrase refers to the fact that the price of diagnostic arthroscopy was not differentiated from arthroscopic surgery.
As for Salmas, the majority report states that “although he did not exercise public authority during the period in question, he is being checked for obviously unethical behaviour aiming at promoting the diagnostic arthroscopy procedure, while his overall activity reveals not only indifference to the fact that he exploited for economic gain a clearly overpriced medical procedure -indeed abusing its use and engendering grounded suspicions of active involvement in the entire procedure of pricing diagnostic arthroscopy - exploiting mainly his common party affiliation with the heads of consultative organs (KESY, the Athens Medical Association, etc.) as well as his previous role as alternate health minister”.