The petition Kári Stefánsson threatened to start if the government did not step up health care funding is now underway.
The petition in question, Endurreisn (“Restoration”), points out that the Icelandic government devotes proportionately far less money to the health care system than other Nordic countries. To rectify this, the petition demands that the government devote at least 11% of public revenue to health care.
“As elected representatives of the people have, for the past 25 years, not funded the health care system as they should of their own accord, we the undersigned are taking the initiative with the aforemented demand,” the petition reads in part.
As reported last December, Kári penned a column for Fréttablaðið wherein he criticised the lack of priority given to Iceland’s health care system.
Cuts to hospital funding are currently being proposed by the parliamentary Budget Committee. Budget Committee chairperson Vigdís Hauksdóttir has accused Landspítali director Páll Matthíasson of “inflicting psychological violence” on the committee with his pleas for more funding, but Kári contends the fault lies entirely with the Budget Committee themselves.
“For this reason, I want to let the Budget Committee know that if it does not change the budget proposal in such a way that much more money is allocated to Landspítali, myself and some associates will launch a petition of 100,000 signatures that the people never again vote for the parties that comprise this government, because of the coldness and indifference that it shows the sick and injured in our society,” he wrote in part. “The collection of signatures will be an easy task. The people are distressed.”