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Cyprus

Extended hours approved in state hospitals to serve backlogs

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou

The Cabinet on Monday approved a proposal by the health minister for the extension of overtime work in state hospitals until the end of May to reduce patient waiting lists in some specialties.

According to Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, Cabinet approved his proposal to extend working hours in health centres and surgeries in state hospitals until the end of May to serve the large numbers of patients waiting to be served. The current arrangement expires at the end of January.

The minister said the extended working hours is a temporary measure until dialogue between the state health services organisation Okypy that runs public hospitals and the unions of state doctors is completed. Both parties agreed that if the dialogue on incentives for specialists is completed prior to the end of May, the programme in question will be replaced by the new agreement, Ioannou said.

He said he has asked Okypy and state doctors’ union to wrap up consultations by April because the second and final phase of Gesy, that will include inpatient care, will kick in on June 1.

Ioannou also expressed optimism about the inclusion of private hospitals in the second phase of Gesy.

“We might not start with all private hospitals, but I am certain the necessary number will (express interest) to allow us to start the second phase and continue with the smooth inclusion of the rest,” he said.

Private hospitals association Pasin agreed recently on a memorandum of understanding as a basis for negotiations between each of its members – clinics and hospitals – and the Health Insurance Organisation, the state agency running Gesy.

 

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