State hospitals will be close to being fully autonomous by the end of the year, the House health committee heard on Thursday, as MPs expressed concern over the course of the endeavour.
Presenting his organisation’s budget for 2020, the head of the state health services (Okypy) Marios Panayides said that by the end of the year, state hospitals would have achieved 90 per cent of full autonomy.
Panayides assured MPs that state facilities would be in position to tackle the competition after the process was completed.
Okypy’s budget provides for some €459 million in revenues with around half representing a state grant. Around €65.8m will come from the provision of primary healthcare, €142m from hospital care and €13.9m from patient registrations. An additional €5.6m will be collected through the provision of other services.
It expects to spend some €459m.
Panayides said 2020 would be a catalyst for the organisation and public hospital autonomy.
The head of Okypy said their priority was to take the top spot in health provision and after they became fully autonomous, they would be able to compete with private facilities.
Main opposition Akel MP, Giorgos Georgiou, told reporters afterwards that the poor state of public hospitals was the fault of the administration and its policy of austerity.
“Unfortunately, we are proven right since the shortages, problems, weaknesses, and dysfunctions are extensive and they are putting peoples’ lives in danger,” Georgiou said.
He said the health services must immediately hire people to staff all clinics and ensure they were fitted with modern equipment.
Edek chairman Marinos Sizopoulos, who has been accused of trying to undermine the fledgling national health system, suggested that state hospitals faced serious problems.
Sizopoulos said the flight of doctors from the public sector and the process to replace them was concerning, adding that efforts to make state hospitals independent faced problems.
The Edek boss expressed concern over the hospitals’ capability to implement autonomy and eliminate the need for state funding.