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EDEK leader Sizopoulos’ bill proposal is a bomb on the foundations of the National Health Scheme

Statement by Giorgos Loukaides, AKEL Parliamentary Representative after the Parliamentary Health Affairs Committee meeting

19 May 2022

I would first like to refer to what AKEL pointed out in the Health Affairs Committee. Namely, the existence of a glaring conflict of interest on the part of the rapporteur of the bill proposal, submitted by EDEK leader Sizopoulos, in relation to the fact that he belongs to the small minority that has not been included in the National Health Scheme (NHS). Obviously, this bill proposal is aimed at serving the interests of the health care providers, those doctors who have chosen, and it is their right and is respected, to remain outside the NHS.

A serious question of order emerges, which is a serious matter that must be addressed by the institutions of the House of Representatives that are designated for this purpose.

With regards the substance of the bill proposal. From the very beginning when this idea was put forward, and even today, we have expressed our opposition in the strongest possible terms because it deliberately aims to destroy the philosophy, but also damage the architecture of the NHS.

Those forces and circles who fought and did everything to prevent health care providers, doctors and nursing homes, from joining the NHS are now looking for ways to give them incentives to push them out of the NHS, given that 90% have decided to join the NHS.

For that reason, this bill proposal creates a centrifugal tendency for those doctors who have joined the NHS and this will be to the detriment of patients first and foremost. The exact opposite should have been the case. That’s to say, specific incentives should be provided so that those hospitals and health care providers who have remained outside the NHS would want to join the health care system, and not the other way round, as the bill proposal seeks to do.

At the same time, we have pointed out that this would open the back door to similar demands, no longer from health care providers, doctors, but also from hospitals that will be legitimized to ask for similar treatment. We’re talking about a bomb on the NHS’ foundations.

It is also important to note what is already a problem in the NHS and needs to be addressed decisively. Abuses will not only not be able to be addressed with this bill proposal, but will permit the number of abuses to increase. The Health Insurance Organisation will no longer have any right or possibility to exercise any control over such abuses, regarding the issuing of prescriptions by doctors who are not contracted to it.

At the same time, the bill proposal in question nullifies the custom of the general practitioner who is designated in our system to fulfill the role of a navigator, since easily patients going to doctors outside the NHS won’t have the need to resort first to the general practitioner to be going to specialist doctors outside the NHS.

There are multiple side effects. There are others too, but we just refer to these and I want to believe that a majority in the House of Representatives will be formed that will not permit the philosophy, character and architecture of the health care system to be undermined. In the end, this great achievement of the Cypriot people must not be destroyed, but must be improved continuously.


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