By Constantinos Psillides
Troika technocrats have green-lighted Cyprus’ National Health Scheme (NHS), according to a statement issued by the health ministry on Saturday.
The Troika representatives met on Friday with Health Minister Philippos Patsalis as part of their fifth review of the implementation of Cyprus’ adjustment programme.
According to the health ministry statement, the technocrats praised the government and the ministry for “making significant progress in all obligations described in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the last three months.”
Patsalis expressed his satisfaction over the troika review, reiterating that the government’s goal was to reform the health system in Cyprus, “firstly for the benefit of the people.”
“During the previous three months since the troika’s last visit to Cyprus, the ministry of health had shown significant progress in relation to the obligations arising through the Memorandum for the health sector,” the ministry said.
The main steps, which were completed during this period include, among others the preparation and approval by the Cabinet of the Plan Reform, the preparation of a roadmap for the implementation of the Integrated Health Information System and the establishment of two groups for the implementation of the reforms.
There was also progress in relation to the legal vetting of issues related to the reform and the public dialogue with the various stakeholders in the national health system.
“We recognise that the implementation of the NHS and the reform of the whole system is a complex and difficult work,” said the ministry, adding that they would continue to make every effort to succeed.
The Troika’s stellar review was largely expected after Patsalis managed to reach an understanding with the state doctors regarding their disagreement over the proposed NHS.
Both sides agreed to get together and discuss the state doctors’ demands, including job security for contract doctors, a lift on the promotions ban in public hospitals and a clear guideline on overtime pay. The deal with the state doctors to discuss the issues was struck only last week.