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Cyprus

Audit chief sounds alarm over Okypy deficits

Nicosia hopsital

Auditor general Odysseas Michaelides on Thursday once again sounded the alarm over deficits of the state health services organisation (Okypy), prompting House watchdog committee president Zacharias Koulias to warn of potentially unpleasant consequences if the situation remains unchecked.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, Michaelides told the committee that regarding Okypy, his office has with letters to the health committee warned that the “vehicle is heading towards the cliff.” He said the organisation does not have a balanced budget, but deficits, which it attributes to the pandemic.

Speaking after the first meeting of the House watchdog committee since the May 30 elections, Koulias said the committee had asked the auditor general to submit a report on Okypy and the health insurance organization the earliest possible.

“It appears that if matters remain unchecked the consequences will be unpleasant, they already are,” Koulias said, adding that managers of Okypy hospitals have often complained that they do not have the liquidity to buy consumables.

But Disy MP Savvia Orphanidou said that both Okypy and the HIO have replied to the auditor general that the deficits had been anticipated and were related to the upheaval created by the pandemic.

“We have said that the issues identified by the auditor general as regards the deficits were already pinpointed by the health minister and we asked for some time because of the pandemic,” she said.

The auditor general did not share this position, arguing that the Okypy was badly managed, and this could be seen in its tenders.

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