Icelanders Demanding Increased Healthcare Funding

UPDATE: Almost 59.000 people have signed the petition making it one of three most signed petition in Iceland.

Icelanders are seeing an incredible participation, with over 47,000 and rising, signing an online petition; Endurreisn [Restoration] calling for increased funding of healthcare in Iceland.

The petition draws the parallel that the Icelandic government assigns far less to the health care system than the Nordic neighbors, to correct this, it calls for the government to devote at least 11% of public revenue to health care, apposed to the current 8.7%

The instigator of the petition Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCODE Genetics delivered harsh criticism to the government´s prioritization in the national budged last December and then went on to create the petition and storm the media.

The petition declares that its not only about funding, its about the self image of a nation, that a strong healthcare system reflects an empathy that a civilized society should take for granted and a broken system reflects a cold shoulder to those in need. He goes on to say that elected governments of the last five decades have starved the healthcare system insuring its steady decay and as a result, that it is no longer equipped to fulfill its role.

The December budged talks were dynamic to say the least, with Budget Committee chairperson Vigdís Hauksdóttir saying that the Landspítali director, Páll Matthíasson was “inflicting psychological trauma” on the budged committee with his pleas for more funding, Stefánsson however argues that the fault lies entirely with the Budget Committee members and their decisions.

January 23rd Channel two TV news reported that 20.000 people signed in 36 hours, on January 25th 40.000 were reported to have signed, placing the petition among the most signed in Iceland.