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25 July, 2024
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Ministry of Health in conflict with Insurance Agency over healthcare control

Government's rush to shift health duties sparks controversy


During yesterday's Parliamentary Committee on Health meeting, the Government decided to shift the responsibility of sending patients abroad from the Ministry of Health to the Health Insurance Organization. MPs Savia Orfanidou and Michalis Giakoumis from DISY and DUSA expressed concerns about the readiness of the Health Insurance Organization (OAY) to take on these responsibilities.

S. Orfanidou stated, "We support this legislation we voted for, but OAY needs to be prepared first." She emphasized that the discussion in the Health Committee highlighted the time needed for preparation and regulatory changes, as explained by the General Manager, General Auditor, and OAY President.

When asked why the transfer process hadn't happened yet, Orfanidou pointed out that this issue had been discussed before, but they couldn't understand why it was emerging again without OAY being ready.

Regarding the timeline, it was mentioned that OAY, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, should get ready once the legislation is presented. Their main concern is ensuring patient well-being and a functioning system.

Orfanidou clarified that the Chairman of the Committee decides how discussions proceed, and patients weren't given the floor due to strong opposition from other MPs.

Michalis Giakoumis emphasized that this issue should not be seen through a partisan lens. He criticized the Ministry of Health for the premature discussion of transferring patient responsibilities to OAY, which is unprepared. He suggested that there should be an extension of powers to the Directorate General by the Ministry of Health, and OAY needs to make significant changes to implement the legislation effectively.

When asked why OAY wasn't ready despite the legislation dating back to 2019-2020, the MP criticized OAY for not being prepared despite receiving letters from the Ministry of Health. He expected the Chairman of OAY to provide a timetable within the next 15 days.

Cyprus  |  minister  |  health  |  parliament

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