Human Rights Commissioner Maria Lottides decried “rights violations” and “infringements on constitutionally guaranteed freedoms” during the Covid-19 pandemic in her annual report.

The report, which was submitted to President Nikos Christodoulides, listed a number of issues she had identified with Cyprus’ health system.

As well as issues related to the pandemic, the report also spoke of “situations which lead to violations of laws related to patients’ rights and a chronic weakness in problem solving” in the health ministry.

These issues include the “long-standing issue of delays” in the ministry’s responses to requests for information.

In addition, the report spoke of “major delays” in the ministry’s responses to applications for funding for healthcare coverage and the purchase of medication, and in signing up new beneficiaries to Gesy.

It also accused the ministry of providing “delinquent” levels of care and an “insufficient service”, and of implementing time-consuming processes for the evaluation of requests for patients to be sent abroad to receive healthcare.

The report also said the ministry had “lost” patients’ files and pilloried a “lack of understanding” between various departments within the ministry.