Cyprus Mail

Public hospitals sign €46m deal to enter digital age

Υφυπουργός Έρευνας – Τελετή υπογρ
File photo: Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos

The outdated system in which public hospitals operate will be replaced in two years with the introduction of the €46m digital healthcare system, officials said on Monday.

Cyprus patients will have access to electronic health records among other modernisations following the intersection of technology with the health sector in the largest IT project on the island that will help increase productivity, quality of services and save valuable human resources.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the project contract with the contractor company OTE, Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos said digital transformation was not just a priority, but a necessity for the development, sustainability and competitiveness of our country.

This is especially important for the health sector, which is a “key pillar of the credibility and prosperity of a modern state…which is the people-centred element of a society,” Kokkinos said.

“The modernisation of the health system is already on track for implementation with visible, substantial and beneficial results.”

The deputy minister said that the implementation of the new integrated health information system will improve the country’s standard of living and increase the life expectancy of the population. It was also expected to contribute to the optimisation of the organisation and operation of public hospitals, offering increased efficiency and productivity as well as saving valuable human resources.

According to Kokkinos, the project will establish electronic health records that will offer more direct access by medical professionals as well as security of information and will promote the development of cross-border e-health services in cooperation with the e-health authority.

Through its implementation, state health services organisation (Okypy) will be able to operate with more flexibility and efficiency, as a modern organisation is required to operate, its chairman Marios Panayides said.

Describing the day as a ‘milestone’ for the organsiation, he said digital health will replace the outdated system currently operating in public hospitals following its completion in 24 months.

Panayides added that this will have a direct impact on improving the service to patients visiting public hospitals while the data collected will contribute to scientific research and development, prevention and treatment and help compare the island’s health sector with that of third countries.

With an estimated budget of €46 million, digital healthcare was one of the largest IT projects implemented in Cyprus, said the chief executive of Okypy Kypros Stavrides.

He added that with the new information system, “we wish to improve the health services provided, reduce operating costs, increase productivity, rid the organisation of outdated systems and reduce human errors.”

For his part, the ICT Director of OTE Group, Lykourgos Antonopoulos said this ‘landmark’ transformation concerns a “complex, difficult, demanding project with many challenges and a very tight schedule”. But he added that OTE Group was a leading technology company and had the experience and know-how to carry it out with the best results.

The contract was signed by Stavrides on behalf of Okypy and Antonopoulos on behalf of OTE.

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