Outgoing Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela on Monday presented the final report of his ministry’s work for the past 19 months at the Presidential Palace, outlining his achievements, as well as the legacy for the next health minister, which is set to be appointed by newly elected President Nikos Christodoulides.
Hadjipantela said his ministry’s goal at the beginning of his term was to ensure quality lifelong health services for every person in Cyprus.
“Our mission was to provide people with an anthropocentric health system that focuses on prevention and aims to improve everyone’s lives through its continuous upgrade,” he said.
Citing official data collected by the health ministry, Hadjipantela said that a total of 934,390 of people in Cyprus are currently enrolled in the national health scheme Gesy, which counts 714 GPs, 60 hospitals and health clinics, 1,803 specialised doctors and 579 pharmacies.
“Gesy is the largest and most significant social reform ever introduced in Cyprus, one that greatly contributes to the modernisation and correct functioning of the state,” Hadjipantela said, before praising the work carried out by the state health services (Okypy) for recently including several renowned private hospitals, such as the Hippocrateon in Nicosia, the Ayios Georgios in Paphos and the Eden Rehabilitation Centre in Tersefanou, to the Gesy list of medical facilities.
Hadjipantela then underlined the importance of the agreement reached with the World Health Organisation (WHO) that will see the opening of a regional hub in Larnaca.
The office will serve as a point of reference in the region to strengthening public health and upgrading preparedness to deal with eventual future infectious diseases.
The health minister added that, throughout his terms, he also signed memorandums of understanding aimed at strengthening public health in Cyprus with several countries, such as Greece, the UK, Italy, China and Lithuania.
Furthermore, Hadjipantela praised health professionals for the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, “particularly public hospitals, which have hospitalised over 3,000 coronavirus patients throughout my term”.
He also hailed the test-to-stay scheme introduced in schools to curb the spread of the pandemic among students and teachers, as well as “the successful vaccination campaign carried out throughout the country that has sensibly reduced the infection rate of coronavirus”.