New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis removed professor of medicine and former member of parliament Spyros Pneumatikos from the ballot on Friday afternoon after outrage over the doctor’s controversial claims of “sorting” terminally ill cancer patients peaked despite Pneumatikos’s announcement that that his words were “misinterpreted”.
In an interview ΣΚΑΙ FM On Thursday, professor of orthopedic surgery Pnevmatikos spoke out in favor of “triage” of terminally ill cancer patients, citing a “cost-benefit ratio.” He said: “At some point we have to draw a line for terminally ill cancer patients because it becomes extremely difficult to meet the required costs.”
Following the backlash, Pneumaticos apologized to FB, stating that his comments were misinterpreted. His announcement followed the intervention of a close aide of Mitsotakis and a senior ND official.
According to mass mediaPneumaticos’ exclusion from the race was a one-way street, given the political cost of such statements and the fact that the Evia candidate was in third position on the ballot, which would certainly have secured him passage to parliament.
Speaking at a campaign rally on Friday, Mitsotakis announced that Spyros Pnevmatikos was being dropped from the race – not on the ballot, they have already been approved by the Supreme Court and cannot be changed now – he will resign and hand over a seat in parliament if elected.
“The only thing I’m not going to negotiate is universal access for every citizen, no matter what stage of the disease they’re in, to the best treatment that the National Health Service has to offer,” Mitsotakis said.
This is not the first time Pneumaticos has made such statements, mostly regarding the cost of treating patients in the public health system, clearly defending the Mitsotakis program for private healthcare. However, it is one thing to make such statements at normal times, and another thing in the pre-election period.
Ultimately, Pneumaticos fell victim to his own stupidity by voicing the idea of ”cost-benefit” because he is a bad politician who should not speak openly about practices that are talked about in the party, but that citizens and patients should not be aware of. In any case, Pneumaticos has spoken, and that word will cost Kyriakos Mitsotakis dearly. Possibly more expensive than Katrugalos’ statementwhich brought down the ratings of SYRIZA a few days before the elections.