For two minutes on Tuesday, Jón Þór Ólafsson, member of Alþingi on behalf of the Pirate Party, stood silent by Alþingi’s podium, to commemorate first rate healthcare in Iceland. This was during a session about next year’s State Treasury budget. Two minutes are the time allocated to each parliamentarian’s response during discussions.
At the end of his two minutes of silence, Jón Þór said: “I believe that if nothing is done, first rate healthcare in Iceland will die. I found it proper to have a little moment of silence for two minutes, on the occasion.”
Since 2007, Doctors’ wages have neither kept up with consumer price developments nor public sector wages. Doctors at State hospitals in Iceland started their first strike in history late October. They have declared continued strike actions towards next spring. Meanwhile, Landspítalinn’s hospital premises have become so tight that patients in for treatment spend weeks in a row sleeping in its corridors. After laying off all its cleaning staff and signing a contractor instead, the hospital has been ridden by mice, ants, MRSA-infections and mold. One general practitioner who worked for the Primary Health Care of the Capital Area stated, as he recently quit, that ongoing budget cuts are killing patients, who don’t receive proper treatment.
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