If Gesy collapses then the entire Cypriot economy will crumble, Health Minister Popi Kanari said on Tuesday calling for a change in attitude within public hospitals.

Speaking on CyBC radio, Kanari also said that general improvements to the health scheme have not been made as at the same time doctors have been given large financial incentives over the past two years.

“There has been a general exploitation of Gesy and that needs to change,” Kanari said.

“At the same time, we are studying ways on how to limit the number of patients each doctor is entitled to register.

“Broadly speaking, the mentality of many public hospital employees needs to change. Public hospitals need to become more competitive in terms of services offered to patients,” Kanari said.

Her words were later echoed by President Nikos Christodoulides, who, during a visit to the Limassol general hospital along with the health minister, vowed not only to support Gesy, but to improve it even further.

Christodoulides reiterated the government’s support to the hospital’s staff, calling Gesy “the most important social reform ever introduced in Cyprus.

“Not only will my administration support Gesy in any way possible, we will do everything to make it even better,” he said.

“We are ready to make changes that need to be made, always within the philosophy that characterises it. We will not tamper with it, but intervene where there are problems. And such a major social reform is bound to have problems.”

The president said his administration will have a leading role in public health.

“For me, you are the experts in the health sector,” he told the hospital’s staff. “What counts at the end of the day is the quality of the services provided. This is where we must focus our efforts.

“We will do everything in our power to upgrade our public hospitals, but we must all work together,” he said.