Opposition Akel on Wednesday called out President Nikos Christodoulides and his government for what it calls a failure to fix the problems in the health system, Gesy, which the party said was on the brink of collapse.

Gesy has been plagued since its inception in 2019 with abuses of the system and complaints about understaffing, labour disputes, waiting lists and other issues.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Akel general-secretary Stefanos Stefanou said whatever negative developments happens to the health sector will be the responsibility of the president and his cohorts and they must be held accountable.

“We are on the brink of system collapse and we are trying to sound the alarm, before it happens because once it happens, it will be too late to reverse it,” Stefanou said.

“The president and the minister of health must finally give clear answers on how they evaluate the situation and the work of [hospitals operator] Okypy and what they will do to solve the problems.”

He said they need to “stop hiding”.

According to Stefanou, Akel sent two letters to the president, one in November 2023, and another in May 2024 outlining the problems that need to be resolved regarding public health issues. “We got no response,” he said.

“The government, despite the many advisers and commissioners it has appointed and who are being paid for by the taxpayer, they did not respond to even one of our letters,” Stefanou added.

Stefanou said it was worrying that for some time now, various private investors have been buying hospitals, imaging centres and laboratories, “aggressively interfering in the map of public health”.

At the same time, public hospitals, he said, “remain without structure and without sufficient staffing as a result of which they are gradually withering away”. He also said the mental health services have received absolutely no support.

“Okypy, instead of turning to permanent, effective solutions is resorting to outsourcing,” Stefanou said.

He suggested perhaps the plan was to “dismantle the system”, so that those who wanted to see a multi-insurance system from the start might get their wish. “This would mean those with money will have medical coverage and those without money will die outside the door of the hospital,” he said.

“Akel does not want to reach a situation that will dawn one day where they will tell us, you know, there is no other way, the set-up of Gesy must change,” he added. “Is the president listening to us? I highly doubt it.”

Stefanou is demanding from the board of Okypy “to abandon its authoritarian attitudes” and immediately inform the parliamentary parties about the road map for the modernisation and reorganisation process, as well as the strategic planning, with specific implementation schedules.