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NHS bills to be approved at next cabinet meeting

The two bills covering the National Health Scheme (NHS) and hospital autonomy will be approved by the cabinet in its next meeting, President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

Speaking at the laying of the foundation stone of the Latsia Health Centre, the president said that after almost two decades it was time to move forward as there was now consensus among those involved.

Anastasiades was referring to two meetings he had with the heads of the parliamentary political parties in July and last month where they agreed to proceed with the implementation of the administrative and financial autonomy of state hospitals which is a prerequisite of the NHS.

In the coming cabinet meeting, he said, the two bills will be approved so that “the state will meet its obligations to the citizens as soon as possible”.

Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis has recently stated the ultimate date for the full implementation of the NHS is June 1, 2020. By June 2017 a public organisation will be set up which will oversee hospital autonomy, while by June 2019 outpatient care will be introduced.

As regards the Latsia health centre, the president said it will serve not only the municipality but also the surrounding area. The health centre is expected to be competed in May 2017.

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