Cyprus Mail

Patients’ federation aims for government demands by April

President, Nikos Christodoulides, Osak, Gesy
President Christodoulides with Osak representatives

By April, the Cyprus Federation of Patients’ Associations (OSAK) hopes that some of its demands, which were reiterated in a meeting with President Nikos Christodoulides and Health Minister Michael Damianos, will be met.

Osak head Pambos Charalambous said in a press release after the meeting that the president provided “clear assurances” regarding the demands concerning patients being sent abroad for treatment.

On his part, the health minister explained that announcements regarding financial support for accompanying subsidised patients abroad are expected in the coming weeks. He described the meeting with the Osak as “very constructive”.

Among the issues discussed at the meeting, was Osak’s request for the creation of an independent Ambulance Authority, for which they submitted a specific proposal to the president, receiving the assurance that he will study it.

Charalambous said that that OSAK’s basic condition for the Ambulance Authority is that it should be independent and not under the state health services organization (Okypy).

Charalambous also referred to the bill on the Patient Advocate, expressing the belief that the issue has been resolved and that the necessary procedures will proceed in the next period.

The bill is progressing and will be implemented,” Damianos assured in turn. Responding to a reporter’s question about its current phase, Damianos stated that the proposed changes in the bill’s text have nearly been finalized, and it will be submitted where necessary within the next week. He assured that the legislative review will not be lengthy due to a manageable number of changes.

Regarding the issue of rehabilitation centres, Charalambous noted that an intensive effort is being made by Osak to include all rehabilitation centres in the national health scheme (Gesy), stressing that it is important for patients to have more and quality options for rehabilitation.

In response to a question from a journalist, he explained that Osak will submit a memorandum to the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) to contract with Gesy, regardless of the progress of a relevant bill on the matter.”

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