Chairman of the State Health Services Organisation (Okyy), Sir David Nicholson, said on Thursday that there was a lot more to do when it comes to state hospital autonomy.
Sir David, who chaired the first meeting of the newly-established Okyy, which is tasked with the management, control, supervision and development of public hospitals and primary health care centres, said that they set out their major priorities but there is still a long way to go.
Among the overall objectives, he said, is improving the quality of service and access to services for the patients, and delivering the financial stability the health service needs.
Sir David, who is former Chief Executive of NHS England, said that they also discussed their major priorities and that a big issue was the engagement of the clinical and other staff of the hospitals and health services.
“If you want to make the kind of changes to improve services, that we know are required in this country, you have to engage the workforce, you have to work with doctors and nurses and all the health professionals together to improve services for patients” he said.
The Okyy chairman also stressed that “it is really important for the people of Cyprus that the hospital and community health services are excellent”.
He added that one of the major issues the Board wants to begin with is the recruitment of a management team, which is capable of making the changes to the hospitals and the health service, that are needed to improve the quality of service to the patients.
“We have been concentrating our efforts on identifying the job descriptions for those people and the recruitment process,” he said noting that “we want the best possible people for Cyprus to enable that to happen”.
Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis, who briefly attended the meeting at the beginning, said that this heralded “the birth of Okyy , which is the vehicle the legislator has set to run the (hospital ) autonomy that is the most important part of health reform”.
Earlier in the day, Sir David had a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace.
The eight-member board of Okyy that was appointed by cabinet last month, is tasked with overseeing the operation of all public hospitals and centres of primary health care as well as the implementation of administrative and financial autonomy in public hospitals.
Hospital autonomy is the first step toward the implementation of the National Health Scheme (Gesy).