New Health Minister Dr. Philippos Patsalis has pledged to work to resolve the problem with long waiting lists at the island's state hospitals.
He made his statements after visiting Larnaca and Famagusta General Hospitals to hear staff and patient concerns.
Speaking after his visit in Larnaca, the minister said he had spoken with the hospital's administration and the Committee for Patients' Rights about problems including waiting lists, patient files and the safeguarding of personal information.
"We also saw some areas within the hospital which create various problems for patients so that we can garner a complete picture and provide solutions," Patsalis said.
The minister said the main problem faced by patients, not only in Larnaca but at all state hospitals, was waiting lists. He said efforts were underway to combat this difficulty particularly when it came to a patient's first appointment with a specialist.
Patsalis said it was too early to say whether the introduction of the National Health Scheme would solve the waiting list problem. Because the scheme would not be implemented for another year and a half, Patsalis said, action to solve current problems had to be taken from now.
The minister's visit to Famagusta General Hospital appeared to be more positive.
Speaking afterwards, Patsalis said the facility was "a jewel for Cyprus and the free Famagusta district."
He said it was a very well-equipped hospital with excellent doctors.
"It is also fully computerised and so an example to other state hospitals in our country in that respect," he said.
Commenting on recent reports of staff shortages, Patsalis said efforts were underway to resolve a number of difficulties at the hospital.
He noted it was a small facility that had to offer a wide range of specialities with the minimum number of doctors expected to see a large number of patients.
"It is to be expected that there will be problems and that is precisely why there is cooperation with other hospitals, for example with Larnaca General Hospital," Patsalis said.