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CyprusHealth

Cabinet greenlights next step towards hospital autonomy

The cabinet has approved the regulations for the state health services organisation that will oversee hospital autonomy, it was announced on Wednesday.

According to the health ministry, the cabinet’s move aims at ensuring that the timeframe set by political party leaders last year on the introduction of the national health scheme (Gesy), is kept.

Hospital autonomy is the first step toward the implementation of Gesy, as state hospitals must be administratively and financially autonomous to be able to compete with private hospitals after the health scheme kicks in. The new organisation in question will oversee the autonomous hospitals.

“According to the decisions of the meeting of the political leaders, the bills on (hospital) autonomy and the Gesy will have to be passed by parliament before June 1, 2017,” the ministry said. The two bills were tabled to parliament in mid-October.

It added if amendments are required as a result of the ongoing consultations between health professionals and the government, they would be made during discussions at the House health committee.

“The health minister makes a plea to all political parties to cooperate to achieve the goal of voting the first bills on the Gesy and autonomy so that the June 1, 2017 timeframe is kept,” the announcement said.

Following the meeting of political leaders with President Nicos Anastasiades last year, it was announced that by June 2017, a public organisation would be set up to oversee hospital autonomy, while by June 2019 outpatient care would be introduced. The ultimate date for the full implementation of Gesy is June 1, 2020.

Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis said last month that the signing of a deal on the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) and IT company NCR Cyprus for the development of a software programme for Gesy, meant no more excuses for those blocking laws for the national health scheme. The government, he said, had done its bit as it had overseen the two bills on hospital autonomy and Gesy tabled to the House and the award of the contract for the software programme. It was now up to the political parties to approve the bills he said.

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