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Parties say they support new health minister’s pledge to root out corruption

Political parties on Sunday backed the new health minister’s pledge to clean out corruption and rival cliques in the health service.

in an interview with Phileleftheros in the wake of several cases of apparent negligence over the past few weeks, Giorgos Pamporidis acknowledged that corruption did exist in the health sector.

He also said that the existing administrative and disciplinary investigations, and lengthy and non-transparent procedures were not effective tools to solve the problems.

For this reason, he said he would be seeking the assistance of the attorney-general and the auditor-general with the aim of clearing out the rot where it does exist.

Four parties, AKEL, EDEK, the Greens and EVROKO issued statements welcoming the minister’s pledge. All criticised the state of the health services and the failure until now to implement a national health scheme, a requirement of Cyprus’ bailout programme.

Main opposition AKEL’s Stefanos Stefanou applauded Pamporidis for his promise to clean up the sector and warned him he would have to deal with vested interests, rival cliques and bad attitudes.

“But above all you will need to combat the policy of the government which has exacerbated the problems resulting in the deterioration of the public health services,” he said.

“The government’s policy is suffocating public hospitals and has brought them into disrepute with the public”.

Two recent cases include a woman in Paphos not being told she was having twins and losing one at birth, and the placing of a premature infant who had died, in the morgue’s rubbish bin at the Nicosia general hospital.

The other two opposition parties echoed the AKEL comments, while junior coalition partner EVROKO said it would be supporting the government in its efforts to create an NHS.

Pamporidis told Phileleftheros the establishment of the new health system should not be rushed as it might backfire down the line. At the same time, he said, dialogue with the stakeholders should not go on indefinitely.

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