The Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) has hit back at a report by public health service inspectors which claimed that some of the center’s state funding was mismanaged with unjustifiable sums spent on media campaigns.
In a letter to the Health Ministry, KEELPNO claimed the report contained “expedient, not legitimate criticism” and did not include the center’s own observations. The report, which was handed to prosecutors this week, found that 1.5 million euros spent by KEELPNO on campaigns from 2012 to 2014 comprised “social messages” that could have been aired for free. It also noted that some of the campaigns, for cancer and generic drugs, did not fall within KEELPNO’s remit.
KEELPNO countered that it has been the competent authority for public awareness on chronic diseases including cancer since 2005. As for the argument about free promotion, it said only very few campaigns are aired for free and that they tend to be given slots when viewing figures are low, such as very early in the morning, which limits the impact of the campaign.