Parliament on Thursday passed the 2021 budgets for two agencies that are key components of the national health scheme (Gesy), also giving the nod to the balance sheets of several semi-governmental organisations.
By a unanimous vote, the House plenum approved the respective budgets for the state health services organisation (Okypy) and the health insurance organisation (HIO).
Okypy’s balance sheet provides for expenditures of €552.8 million and projected revenues of €504 million – of which €120 million from government grants.
The HIO – the agency tasked with implementing the national health scheme – has been allocated €1.276 billion. Its revenues are expected at €1.278 billion, of which €1.27 billion will come from Gesy proceeds.
Despite the consensus in the voting part of the proceedings, a lively debate took place with the main opposition party accusing the government of failing to upgrade public healthcare.
Akel said it was nevertheless voting for the budgets as it wanted Gesy to succeed, whereas others sought to “tank it.”
Hitting back, head of the ruling Disy party Averof Neophytou said it was this government that picked up the torch when the previous administration of Akel shelved plans for a national healthcare system.
The plenum also approved the budgets of seven semi-governmental organisations: the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (€1.18 billion expenditures); the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (€3.5 million); the Cyprus Organisation for Storage and Management of Oil Stocks (€125 million); the Cyprus Sports Organisation (€47 million); the Cyprus State Scholarship Foundation (8.8 million); the Game and Fauna Service (€11.1 million); and a fund for the professional rehabilitation of disabled persons (€148,000).
In other business the House passed a bill updating the law on the combating of money laundering, in order to harmonise with EU Directive 2018/843 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing,
Cyprus should have transposed the directive into domestic law by January 10, 2020; its delay in doing so had led to the European Commission to initiate infringement proceedings.