NICOSIA -- The Ministry of Health and Cyprus` international lenders, the Troika, (EC, ECB, IMF) have reached an agreement in principle on the National Health System that is expected to be fully implemented by July 2016.
Discussions on the Cyprus NHS, which will cover all citizens of the Republic, were concluded on Friday between the Minister of Health Philippos Patsalis and the Troika.
In statements after his long meeting with the Troika, Patsalis said that “we have agreed on all issues on the MoU (with the Troika)," adding that the MoU is not signed yet but the Cypriot authorities have agreed with the Troika on the principles of the NHS.
Replying to questions, he said that the total cost will reach €1.6 billion while contributions will be around 2% on the employees’ income, 2.2% will be covered by the employers and 4.25% by the state.
Pensioners will also be contributing, but health services will be free of charge for unemployed and children.
The principle behind the NHS will be "fair distribution of costs, social solidarity, support of economically vulnerable groups, free choice of doctor and medical services”, he pointed out.
The NHS will enter into force gradually, beginning mid-2015. Its full implementation is expected to take place mid 2016.