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New meeting on weekend clinics set for next week

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Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela chairs a meeting on Thursday (Christos Theodorides)

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela on Thursday said a new meeting on the much-debated operations of weekend clinics is set to take place next Wednesday, after representatives of the health insurance organisation (HIO), the Cyprus medical association and the state health services (Okypy) convened on Thursday.

Speaking to media, Hadjipantela said the health ministry’s goal was for the clinics to be up and running as soon as possible “as they serve the needs of everyone in Cyprus.”

“There have been issues and disagreements between the parties regarding the operations of weekend clinics in recent days but we are doing everything to solve them,” he said.

The meeting on Thursday was called after trade unions Pasyki and Pasydy called a work stoppage on the same day from 9.30am to noon, which was then called off.

During the meeting, Hadjipantela said a special committee, headed by the Cyprus medical association president Dr Petros Agathangelou, was set up in order to better address the issues emerged in the past days.

“Agathangelou’s intervention was crucial to avoid the strike,” the health minister said.

“His contribution to get the clinics up and running will be decisive. By next Wednesday, we will know for sure when the weekend clinics will open and how they will operate.”

Asked about the absence of a representative from the patients’ association during the meeting, Hadjipantela assured that he will inform the latter about what was discussed on the subject.

Throughout the past weeks, unions have lamented their lack of involvement in the procedures aimed at implementing the weekend clinics.

“We need to ensure that a structured and productive dialogue between the parties involved takes place in order to guarantee the best possible health services to our patients,” the head of the doctors’ unions Pasyki Sotiris Koumas said on Wednesday.

 

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