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Agathangelou: I have no intention of altering Gesy philosophy

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The latest attack took place on Monday

After facing heavy criticism over the last few days for his appointment to the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) board, head of the Cyprus Medical Association Dr Petros Agathangelou on Saturday said he has no intention of altering the way it runs Gesy.

“In no case, neither as an institution nor myself personally, will we allow any alteration of Gesy’s philosophy,” Agathangelou said.

“However, through the constructive and productive participation in the board, the goal is to proceed with continuous improvements, so that Gesy’s quality remains high, this is everyone’s priority,” he added, explaining that he expects to be judged by his work as an HIO board member.

Agathangelou thanked President Nicos Anastasiades, the health minister and the entire cabinet for their trust and assured them his intention is to meet their expectations for the safeguarding of Gesy.

He also said that he intends “to contribute through my institutional role, representing the entire medical community of Cyprus, including 95 per cent of the medical members of the Cyprus Medical Association (CyMA), who are contracted with Gesy, so that any problems that have been identified in the first years of the implementation of the system can be dealt with effectively.

“I assure you that I will do my best so that, through my scientific knowledge, experience and knowledge, I can contribute constructively,” he added.

Furthermore, Agathangelou stated that “despite any opinions expressed prior to the passing of the legislation, which were aimed at improving Gesy as much as possible, from the time the system was implemented until today, I have proven in practice that my main concern is the preservation and improvement of the health system”.

Critics slammed his appointment, saying that Agathangelou was a known opponent of Gesy and querying whether it posed questions of conflict of interest.

Anastasiades said he had been appointed because of the position he holds, not the views he had expressed in the past.

Agathangelou said he had responded “decisively and constructively” when the health ministry and the HIO had sought the scientific contribution and expertise of the medical community.

The HIO board consists of 13 members, he said, adding: “it is unfortunate, to say the least, for some to claim that the appointment of a member who has expressed opposing views in the past will supposedly lead to the collapse of Gesy or alter its structure and philosophy”.

Among others, his appointment has been slammed by the patients association and unions Pasydy and Sek. Other groups though have come out in his favour.

He also mentioned that the medical community must be represented at the highest possible institutional level, which is the HIO, something which became evident during the first three years of Gesy’s implementation.

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