The federation of Cyprus patients’ associations (Osak) on Monday highlighted the need for patients to take part in the decision-making process as far as public health concerned during a meeting of its representatives with President Nicos Anastasiades.
Osak’s comments fell on European Patients’ Rights Day, an annual day that celebrates patient and civil society organisations in their efforts to advance patients’ rights on a global and European level.
“April 18 is a day to remind the state of the need to take initiatives, actions and commitments to strengthen, improve and fully implement patients’ rights in every country of the European Union,” the association said.
Osak praised the national health scheme Gesy, saying that, since its implementation, patients in Cyprus have the right to equally benefit from the best health care, adding that the organisation played an important role in promoting it.
“However, the road to strengthening patients’ rights remains a long one and we will continue to fight tirelessly to safeguard the fundamental rights of people needing medical care,” the statement said.
Osak said patients who need to report issues or cases of malpractice can contact the Patients’ Rights Observatory hotline at 1403.
Addressing the media after the meeting, government spokesperson Niovi Parsiniou said the government is determined to maintain the smooth operation Gesy to make sure that all people in Cyprus are able to benefit from what she called “the largest social reform ever implemented in the country.”
Parsiniou added that a “patients’ rights” bill is now being studied and laid out and will be submitted to the House in the coming weeks.
Moreover, the health ministry is set to create an app through which patients will be able to express their level of satisfaction regarding the medical treatments received within Gesy.
“The app will also make it possible to detect any form of abuse within the system and will be accessible throughout the Gesy portal,” Parsiniou said.
Finally, she said Anastasiades approved the association’s request for an increase in its annual grant, while the request for financial state assistance for the renovation of its headquarters will need to be carefully studied.