RULING DISY tabled a proposal to the House Health Committee yesterday which would provide healthcare for all through a levy on wages.
The proposal would mean all those currently registered with the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) would be able to receive free healthcare from both private and government employed doctors.
Speaking after the committee meeting, MP Nicos Nouris, who handed over the plan, explained that funds would be raised by charging employers and employees both 0.4 per cent on their income, excluding civil servants were due to start contributing 1.5 per cent of their income to healthcare under the deal with Cyprus’s international lenders.
With the DISY proposal, parents would also have to contribute 0.4 per cent for each child or dependent in their care. Nouris added that from these charges, the amount of €59 million would be raised, which should cover the costs for first-rate healthcare for all.
The continuing financial crisis, long waiting lists and the delay in implementation of the National Health Scheme (NHS) require measures to be taken to provide everyone quality healthcare, Nouris said.
The HIO would be responsible for the plan which would come into operation within the next six months. Residents would then only need to register with the HIO and would be entitled to free healthcare from a doctor of their choice.
The plan would not bring any disagreement from the troika, Nouris said, as there would be no expenditure on behalf of the government. Doctors would receive payment directly from HIO’s funds.
Speaking after the Committee meeting, Health Minister, Petros Petrides who was present, told reporters that it was a proposal which reflected the public’s current state of anguish.
“We accept that it is a proposal which must be discussed extensively so the Committee can review any amendments as soon as possible,” Petrides said.
Head of the Committee Costas Constantinou labelled Nouris’ proposal as very useful.
“The ministry of health will be able to thoroughly study the proposal and submit any recommendations,” Constantinou said. “We expect the Ministry to adopt these helpful opinions and suggestions within a short time,” he added.
DIKO MP, Athena Kyriakidou and EDEK MP, Roula Mavronicola both hailed the idea while AKEL MP Stella Misiaouli stated that any plan would need to be included in the NHS.