AKEL expresses its support towards the state health services (OKYPY) and the General Health Scheme (GESY)
Statements by the General Secretary of AKEL after the meeting with the State Health Services (OKYPY)
22 May 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
We had a meeting today with the Council and Board of the state health services OKYPY. We discussed issues related to OKYPY’s responsibilities and competences, and for that reason Public Hospitals. We consider it is very important that Public Hospitals are supported because they must be in a position to fulfill the role of constituting the main backbone of support for the GESY.
It is well-known that the state’s support towards the GESY ends on June 1, 2024. AKEL considers that the period of support must be extended to take into account the coronavirus period, during which Public Hospitals played the key role in the response to the pandemic. The particular situation that followed did not permit Public Hospitals to develop the planning of their self-autonomy. This must be taken into account and the period of support must be extended.
This must be accompanied by the elaboration of a roadmap for the implementation of the strategic plan of OKYPY, by setting specific timeframes, so that this plan can be put into practice with the appropriate adjustments as things evolve.
We also raised the issue of labour peace in the nursing sector, which means that there must be a normalization of labour relations through the conclusion of an agreement on collective agreements. At the same time, we discussed broader issues affecting public hospitals.
A very critical issue, in AKEL’s opinion, that concerns both OKYPY and Public Hospitals, as well as the health care structure in general, is the formulation of a campacity planning. That is, to find out how many needs there really are in the health care sector, as far as our country is concerned, so that we can know how many hospitals we need and what needs to be done so that, within the framework of rationality, we establish a health care system that can meet the challenges and needs.
At the same time, this area should not be a sector of activity with the sole purpose of ensuring profitability, not to say profiteering. This must be the case right from the very beginning. This wasn’t done, but it must be done in order to stop the phenomenon of the constant arrival of numerous companies, as well as funds that are interested in coming to Cyprus – they are already coming to Cyprus – to set up hospitals and not only that.
OKYPY knows that AKEL attaches great importance to the issues of health and public hospitals. AKEL will continue to support the GESY, a GESY as we have decided to establish, without changes in its character, architecture, structure and objectives. We must tackle any distortions, problems and shortcomings that exist in order to address the sustainability of both the GESY and the OKYPY and, by extension, public hospitals themselves.
We are on the same page on many issues. We have agreed to continue the dialogue and contact between us.