A draft bill has been presented on Monday allowing for the ‘right to be forgotten’ to be applied to cancer survivors, who are attempting to make new insurance agreements.

The law proposal was presented during the house finance committee session by Akel MPs Aristos Damianou, Marina Nicolaou, and Giorgos Loukaides, who said the bill was necessary as cancer survivors have reported having problems taking a new insurance due to their medical history.

The MPs said that in other EU countries this ‘right to be forgotten’ is less than ten years from the date of diagnosis.

A representative from the finance ministry said that the ministry agrees with this proposal, noting from the start of the year there was an agreement made with insurance companies and Europa Donna, which means all that is left is for the issue to be enshrined into law.

The National Cancer Commission representative reported that today cancer treatments are much more effective, and many patients are cured. As he said, the obstacles to the smooth reintegration of cancer patients into society should be removed and he declared in favour of the bill.

The head of the Association of Insurance Companies Andreas Athanasiades stated that they have no problem with the legal establishment of the “right to be forgotten”. On the contrary, as he said, a year ago the relevant proposal they discussed at the health ministry was unanimously accepted by their member companies, with a starting date of January 1, 2023. He noted, however, that in looking at the proposed law there is concern that it might create discrimination against other patients. He expressed his readiness to discuss the issue and come to something that is legally and morally correct.

The Cyprus Patient Associations Federation, as well as other cancer associations, expressed their agreement with the proposed law.

On behalf of Europa Donna, which pioneered the right to be forgotten, it was stated that this right should also be legally guaranteed, following the agreement reached with the insurance companies. A representative of the group also mentioned that there are some cancers that have an excellent prognosis and fewer years should be counted for this right.