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Cyprus

Health sector reform “absolutely necessary”, Georgiades says

Nicosia general hospital

The Government is fully aware of the difficulties and problems in the health sector, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said on Sunday but said reforms though difficult for everyone involved were “absolutely necessary”.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Nicosia, following a week where health minister Giorgos Pamporidis clashed with government doctors and his chief medical official, plus nurses threatening strike action, Georgiades said the government was committed to the reforms. He urged all sides to thrash out the difficulties and to correct, “for the good of the public” the “distortions and dysfunctions of decades”.

Georgiades said he was in constant contact with the health minister.

“These positive changes can be done in a way that does not burden the public finances, but instead ensures a better, more rational and efficient use of resources,” he added.

“We recognise, and we know the difficulties and problems but we stress the need for reforms We are ready for these changes, which may be politically difficult, but are absolutely necessary.”

The minister also stressed the need for commitment to fiscal discipline and continued reforms once Cyprus exits its bailout programme next month.

“As the European Commission has finally confirmed this week, the Cypriot economy has left behind a long and protracted recession… and we are back to growth, plus the public finances have been cleaned up, but there is no excuse for complacency or procrastination…” Georgiades said.

“We have secured a second chance as an economy and as a country but this second chance should be managed responsibly and not by ending reform efforts and postponing the necessary changes.”

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