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Christodoulides touts ‘daring reforms’ in health sector

cyprus president nikos christodoulides speaks during a press conference with european parliament president roberta metsola at the zenon joint rescue coordination center in larnaca
President Nikos Christodoulides

President Nikos Christodoulides on Monday evening touted forthcoming “daring reforms” in Cyprus’ health sector.

He was speaking at an event organised by the Cyprus patients’ associations federation (Osak) to mark European patients’ rights day, and said the reforms are “expected soon” with a number of pieces of legislation in the pipeline.

One such reform will be the creation of an ombudsman for the health centre, which he said will be implemented within the year.

The ombudsman, Christodoulides said, will be tasked to “ensure that the 14 principles of the European patients’ rights charter will be implemented in Cyprus.”

The 14 rights outlined in the charter include the right of access to healthcare and the rights to preventative measures, information, consent, free choice, privacy and confidentiality, respect of patients’ time, safety, to complain, and to innovation, among others.

He added that those 14 rights “must be recognised and, most importantly, fully respected in every country, not just through nice words and nice statements, but through policies.”

He said that other forthcoming reforms will “provoke reactions” among some but said their “sole objective is the protection of Gesy, which is the largest social reform seen in Cyprus to date.”

On the success of Gesy, he said that “no one expected such a major reform to work without problems”, and that the government intends to address the current issues faced by Gesy.

“There is important work we have to do as a state, but I believe that since the adoption of the patients’ rights charter, important steps have been taken in this country, mainly because of the work carried out by Osak,” he said.

He added, “we have a duty as a state to listen to people’s needs and to do our best to defend patients and their rights.”

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