Main opposition Akel on Thursday accused the finance minister of undermining the national health scheme (Gesy), whose legislation was expected to leave the committee and put to the floor inside June.
House health committee chairman, ruling Disy MP Costas Constantinou, said discussions were at an advanced stage and the bills were expected to go to the plenum in next month.
“Putting Gesy at the disposal of the people is the best development under the circumstances, affording rights and expectations … through a huge reform that was absent from our country,” Constantinou said.
During Thursday’s discussion, a finance minister representative suggested that the 4.7 per cent state contribution may not be compatible with the public finances.
Constantinou said the rep was expressing a view; the government’s policy was expressed by the cabinet, which had mandated the health minister to push the reform.
Akel MP Giorgos Loukaides was not so forgiving however, suggesting it was yet another effort by the finance minister to undermine the Gesy.
“It is saddening, tragic even, but mainly a paradox, for the opposition, the biggest opposition party, to make such significant concessions in a bid to push the reform, unions to also make big concessions, to see at this late hour, sections of the government and the Disy leadership to continue to try and undermine this important and necessary reform for society and patients,” he said.
“An end must be put to this unacceptable stance,” Loukaides said, accusing Disy of serving big private interests operating in the health sector.
Employers OEV appealed to parliament to ensure contributions did not start before experts confirmed that hospitals had become truly autonomous, a key change needed for the operation of the system.
OEV director Michalis Antoniou said they had suggested amending the bills to allow people who wanted to keep their private insurance policies for three years after the scheme went on line to ensure everything went smoothly.