President Nicos Anastasiades met on Thursday with the boards of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) and the medical association (CyMA) to discuss aspects concerning the implementation of the National Health Scheme (NHS).
The meetings, part of the president’s initiative to steer steps leading up to the implementation of a health system, were carried out in the presence of Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis. The president met first with the delegation of the HIO, and later with the CyMA.
The two organisations are “two of the most important partners of the state in the implementation of the NHS,” Pamboridis said after the meetings, as without them, there cannot be a reform of the health sector.
Pamboridis said that the two meetings, which follow that of the president with the heads of parliamentary political parties last July, aimed at discussing the reforms slated for implementation.
Without the doctors’ input, there cannot be a detailed plan, Pamporidis said.
As for the software programme of the NHS, which the HIO is tasked with introducing, Pamboridis said that the procedure would soon be completed.
“No decisions were taken, but the president gave instructions to the HIO,” he said, while the organisation informed the president on progress.
Pamboridis said that he too has regular meetings with nurses’ and doctors’ unions as part of the consultation period on the implementation of hospital autonomy, which is a prerequisite of the NHS. He said that the goal was to complete discussion on all employment issues.
“I hope and wish that we will meet this timeframe. An effort is underway to reach convergences,” Pamporidis said.
The NHS is a requirement of Cyprus’ bailout programme. Under the deal, Cyprus was supposed to offer a national healthcare scheme by 2015. A major reason for the delay is that the autonomy of state hospitals is still pending. After constant push back of dates, Pamboridis tabled last month the bill on the financial and administrative autonomy of state hospitals before the cabinet.
As part of the government’s pledge to push forward with the implementation of the NHS, the health minister in cooperation with the finance minister and the undersecretary to the president, continue dialogue with all stakeholders in the public and private sector.
A road map to the NHS implementation will be configured after the completion of the dialogue between the government and political parties, but also stakeholders.