By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv
“Healthcare was and still is our first priority,” we heard once again at the recent expert conference “Health for All,” which was organised by the Social Democrats party (SD) a few days ago. In Tuesday’s broadcast of Studio City on RTV Slovenia, MEP Tanja Fajon stated that the government is supposedly responsible for our country being the “world champion” in terms of the number of infected people. It is also supposedly responsible for the mistrust, low vaccination rate, and disrespect for the medical experts. Interestingly, however, the SD party clearly does not find it problematic at all that its prominent members, at a time when the epidemiological picture is really bad, are calling for people to join them at an illegal anti-government protest. Could there be anything worse in the given situation than the additional burdening of the already burdened healthcare system?
While covid wards are overcrowded, doctors and nurses are on the verge of burnout because of their hard work, and people are dying, prominent members of the SD party are calling for mass protests. Namely, Dr Brigita Skela Savič openly called on people to join her in Ljubljana on Friday, the 12th of November at 5 p.m., at a protest against the government. It is especially sad that Skela Savič is a prominent representative of nurses in Slovenia (she is also active in the International Association of Nurses).
While the coordination of medical organisations warns that the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse and the president of the Medical Chamber of Slovenia, Bojana Beović, also pointed out that she cannot rule out the possibility that the doctors will be forced to choose who to help and who to admit to the intensive care unit, the prominent member of the SD party called to the protests, where there is a high chance of infection. It is no wonder that the Nurses and Midwives Association of Slovenia responded to her irresponsible call by writing the following: “So much about the people who shape the fate of nurses in Slovenia – especially at a time when all our efforts are focused on preventing the spread of the virus.”
The SD party is destroying public healthcare
In a public letter, the association pointed out that such calling to the streets was inappropriate. “Especially if a prominent person in the field of nursing in our country is calling for protests, a person who was even appointed to represent Slovenian nurses in the International Association of Nurses.” They stressed that they condemn her call and are in favour of her recall. “Because we believe that a person with such characteristics is not suitable for representing Slovenian nurses in the world’s highest professional body, since this person may even deserve a criminal complaint due to her calling for such actions, we demand that her further role in the International Association of Nurses be seriously considered and that she is then immediately recalled from the position due to detrimental public actions during the greatest health crisis,” they made it clear.
If one would expect the SD party and its president to react critically to this, one would have been wrong. This would mean that the party really does not represent a solution for the unsustainable state of healthcare, which has not experienced any real changes for years and years now but instead is part of the reason why the situation is what it is. Far from it that Skela Savič is an isolated case. At some of the past anti-government protests, where covid was also spreading among citizens, we saw prominent members of the party (inducing its president Tanja Fajon), and the MPs even made fun of wearing protective masks. Namely, MP Marko Koprivc compared an effective measure to a masquerade?! “This masquerade that we are participating in in the National Assembly is downright ridiculous,” he said.
Given the fact that it is the medical profession that advises following protective measures (wearing protective masks, keeping a proper distance, hand hygiene and cough hygiene, avoiding gatherings, where there is a higher chance of virus transmission), it is downright ridiculous that the SD party doubts the experts. But these are their real actions, while the words of the SD party are completely different. Namely, they keep repeating how the government of the Republic of Slovenia is to blame for the bad epidemiological picture because the experts are not being listened to. However, when a prominent member of the SD party calls for a protest, they obviously believe this is acceptable, even though the medical experts are clearly against this?! It is clear to everyone that it is perversive to call for protests while we have such a poor epidemiological picture. But to understand this, a person needs some common sense.
By next week, we are expecting the situation to worsen to a point where doctors will have to treat two patients at the same time at critical points in the system – two patients who will both urgently need a ventilator for treatment, but the hospitals will not have enough staff to help such patients or even suitable beds for such patients where they could lie. Obviously, the SD party is indifferent towards the actions that contribute to the unsustainability of the situation in healthcare; otherwise, they would have already come forward and condemned the behaviour of Skela Savič. The critical situation, the consequences of which are reflected in the death toll, thus continues, as those who say they are part of the solution are actually part of the problem. They are aware that the elections are drawing nearer every day, so they do not want to miss an opportunity to slander the government. Given that the SD party says they represent a new beginning, one is justified in wondering if we really want a new beginning in which lives are worth so little.