Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Wednesday called for an end to trials by media over problems in Gesy, arguing the system is not to blame for the unacceptable behaviour of some people.
Recent complaints will be investigated, the minister said, also calling for patience and cooperation to iron out system glitches preventing the smooth operation of Gesy.
In a written statement, the minister said he felt he needed to intervene following intense rounds of spats between patients’ groups, doctors and accusations against state health services organisation Okypy, which runs public hospitals.
“I felt that I should take a stand because I note with regret that, instead of a well-documented dialogue with arguments and facts, there have been cases in which the debate has escalated into a series of accusations against each other for the problems in the healthcare sector,” Ioannou said.
He added that reports of public sector doctors working in private hospitals, Gesy doctors also working in hospitals not under Gesy, hospitals sending patients away because they don’t find them cost effective, and healthcare providers or businesses putting profit over patients will be investigated by the competent agencies the soonest possible.
Among the cases reported in recent days was a man who was allegedly sent packing from a private hospital that cut his surgery short due to lack of space, people reporting they have surgeries in private hospitals and are then referred to public ones for recuperation, patients sent away from the private sector if the services they seek are not deemed profitable.
It must be understood, Ioannou said, that Gesy is not to blame or its structure and philosophy for the unacceptable behaviour of some people.
“We must not attack the (health) system because some act outside the legal framework,” Ioannou said.
He added he found it unacceptable that people set up public trials through media.
“In a state ruled by law there are institutionalised procedures, which we must all respect,” he said.
The minister said he has asked everyone who expressed complaints to officially file them with the competent bodies such as the Gesy supervisor, the boards of directors of the Health Insurance Organisation, and Okypy, the ethics committee of the Cyprus Medical Association, and the health ministry.