CYPRUS: Parliament approves EUR 68.7 mln budget for health scheme

Parliament has approved the EUR 68.7 mln budget for the body that will run the Cyprus General Health Scheme, with EUR 55 mln being allocated for wages of hospital staff and officials of State Health Services Organisation OKYPY.

While the House gave the green light to the OKYPY budget, essentially setting in motion the biggest reform in the country’s health care system, MPs agreed that the EUR 40,000 basic salary of OKYPY chairman David Nicholson’s should be cross-checked.

A House source told the Financial Mirror, MPs felt obligated to cross-check Nicholson’s salary after the Attorney General found there maybe a conflict of interest in his appointment as Nicholson and his wife are directly connected to NHS hospitals in Britain, which was not made known when he was appointed.

The former chief of the NHS had not disclosed several associations with NHS institutions such as the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which provides hospital services to three hospitals in Britain. Nicholson had served as interim chairman of the board of the trust.

The government had come under fire over the appointment of Nicholson, with Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou stating earlier this month that the government is pleased with Nicholson’s work at the organisation.

A universal national health system will be rolled out in June as a first phase and phase II will follow next year.

Source: The Financial Mirror