Cyprus Mail

Health minister says he had achieved what he set out to do

Υπουργός Υγείας – Τελετή παράδοση
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou

Outgoing minister of health Constantinos Ioannou said on Sunday he had achieved what he set out to when he took up the post three years ago.

Speaking to Politis, he said he undertook the role of minister “with the condition of continuing the government’s policy for full implementation of both phases of Gesy.

“This was the great challenge for me, to get involved in active politics.

“Having completed the goals that had been set, namely the implementation of Gesy and hospital autonomy, I feel that I have completed my own cycle as Minister of Health,” he added.

While saying it was difficult to point to one high point, he said the introduction of Gesy was a “landmark” for his time as minister. “Very few people believed it would become a reality,” he added.

He said many people, even a week before the introduction date, said that Gesy, passed into law in 2017, would be just another law that remained in a drawer.“

But we managed it through many difficulties, it was embraced by the people and also by the majority of the providers,” he added.

“Gesy will continue to be improved and is the gift we will leave future generations.”

Ioannou was appointed minister in March 2018 at a time when opposition parties and state medical workers were against the introduction of Gesy.

The first phase was brought in in June 2019, and the second a year later in June 2020.

However, since March 2020 his time as minister has been largely spent on dealing with the pandemic and protecting public health through a series of decrees.

Handling of the pandemic, he said, based on the results, is considered effective.

“Failure could be attributed to the fact that all our forces have focused on managing the pandemic for the last 16 months, so some actions that should have been completed are still in progress,” he added.

Ioannou announced earlier this month that his resignation had been accepted by President Nicos Anastasiades.

Chartered accountant Michalis Hadjipantelas will replace him, taking over on July 1.

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