COVID19: Second phase of GHS postponed until September

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Implementation of the General Healthcare System’s second phase has been postponed for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Cyprus State Health Organisation acting director, Andreas Papaconstantinou.

He told CNA that instead of launching on 1 June if all goes well, Cyprus’ pioneering national health service completion will launch on 1 September.

The second and final stage of the GHS will incorporate hospitals into the island’s fledgeling national health system launched last year.

The next phase includes; inpatient healthcare, services offered by allied health professionals (clinical dieticians, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, physiotherapists, and clinical psychologists), nurses and midwives, the accident and emergency departments, ambulance services, dentists, palliative healthcare and medical rehabilitation.

The issue of the postponement will be dealt with at a meeting of the organisation’s Executive Council which will be called to ratify the decision.

He said the meeting will be held on Monday where the organisation will examine a report on the readiness to implement the second phase as well as the financial situation.

Papaconstantinou said the programming has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Contributions from the private sector come through Income Tax and those from government employees through the Treasury.

Papaconstantinou said the first phase of the GHS – which introduced the GP system – helped greatly in handling the pandemic.

“Imagine what would have happened if we had the old regime, where a huge number of patients went to state pharmacies in queues to get their medicines”.

Now, he added, there is unhindered access to medicines through private pharmacies.

“We have taken advantage of all the potential of private pharmacies on a nationwide basis, and no one has a problem with access to medicine.”

Papaconstantinou said this is a great advantage not only for the people but also for their personal self-protection.

“Involvement of personal doctors has helped as people are turning to them for a proper assessment of their health, and if they deem a case suspicious, the GP will call the 1420 hotline.” (source CNA)