The real patient

Recent allegations about extortion and thugs has steered attention away from a less murky story that is no less revealing of Greece’s modern condition. Television bulletins recently aired footage taken in Iraklion, Crete, where a doctor of the local branch of the Social Security Foundation (IKA) was shown to be examining his disabled patients on the sidewalk. This disheartening sight sparked bitter feelings about the state of IKA. A brief inquiry revealed that the check-ups on the city sidewalks were a direct result of the unsuitable conditions within the IKA building. The building had no entrances for the disabled, its crowded corridors prevented access to the various offices and, as a result, the head of the local IKA’s medical service, who has served the insured there for more than 30 years, was forced to come out onto the pavement to ease their pain. His initiative was aimed at making up for the foundation’s chronic problems. However, the IKA administration was outraged. Its modernist-minded governor, Miltiades Nektarios, took offense at the incident and took disciplinary action against the doctor, threatening to remove him from IKA. Nektarios was outraged; he was upset by the media reports and the comments they sparked instead of being bothered by IKA’s dismal condition. However, the people of Iraklion, who have suffered all these years, sensed the injustice and protested the dismissal of a person who has fought for the insured, braving a whirlpool of maladministration, callousness and passivity. The public reaction revealed the governor’s preoccupation with superficiality. Modern politics are obsessed with image-making. Everything is subjugated to image and everything revolves around it. It’s an all-encompassing distorting perspective that paralyzes and obstructs everything else.

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