International creditors have urged authorities to build on the strong prospects of the General Healthcare System by stepping up investments in the health sector and getting in foreign investors.
The Troika was in Cyprus last week in a routine post-bailout check to ensure the government’s fiscal strategy is not derailed by COVID and the effects of the war in Ukraine.
The team included representatives from the European Commission, and the European Central Bank, while the International Monetary Fund sent observers.
Quoting sources close to the procedure, news side Stockwatch reported the Troika had, for the first time, delved into the GHS to find it has significant prospects for boosting investments.
International creditors urged Cypriot authorities to strengthen the state’s investments in health while encouraging investors from abroad with technical know-how to invest.
In their previous evaluations, the Troika had appeared sceptical over Cyprus’ endeavour with the GHS, pointing out risks to the scheme’s viability and the threat it posed to public finances.
Although pointing out the need for proper management of the GHS, which annually distributes €1.5 bln to providers, they said the General Healthcare System has proven resilient.
The Troika said the GHS has been tested during two years of the coronavirus pandemic, also brushing off any effects from the war in Ukraine.
They did, however, ask for information and data regarding the costs and auditing of state hospitals, stressing that these services should be closely monitored, ensuring they stick to their budgets.
As international creditors noted, derailment of their budget could negatively affect the state’s finances.
They found that the latest investments in the health sector concern the purchase and construction of new hospital institutions with the financing of domestic and foreign investors, estimating that the investments will continue and benefit the Cypriot economy.
Officials indicated that the structure of the GHS and the electronic model it has adopted provides the required reliability to attract foreign investors, who will know from the outset they will be working with a stable framework.
The last investments (€120 million) made in the health sector include the acquisitions of the polyclinics of Apollonio and Areteion hospitals by the CVC Capital Partners group.
Other major investments include the German Institute in Limassol and the American Medical Centre.
The well-known Israeli Hadassah hospital is proceeding with constructing a large hospital complex in the Nicosia area of Lakatamia.
The Hadassah hospital foresees the construction of 280 rooms for patients, 25 medical centres, an oncology clinic, physical therapy rooms, a cardiology department, and other facilities.