“The Future of Healthcare in Cyprus: Healthcare Reforms and Challenges” is a high-level one-day conference, which will be introducing a policy dialogue in the healthcare sector alongside with world class international speakers, high level representatives of the European Commission, the World Bank, OECD and other international organizations, as well as world known academics, opinion leaders and government and industry representatives.
The conference aims to shift the focus on how healthcare systems can reform to better deal with the uncertainties and realize the opportunities of tomorrow. Emphasis will be also given to the European perspective on healthcare systems challenges.
Important milestones on the Agenda include the Reform of the Healthcare system in Cyprus and discussions around the introduction of a new unified insurance health service provider and how healthcare systems should respond to new pharmaceutical policies. An effort has been made in Cyprus for a complete reform of the health system, a process that has been widely debated, with arguments for and against the reform under way. However, all participants in the health system agree that the health sector in Cyprus is about to face major challenges.
The challenges: Among all EU Member States, Cyprus has the highest percentage of health expenditure out of the pocket. Private health expenditure exceeds 46.4% of total health expenditure. Today, Cypriot patients themselves contribute the largest proportion of their population in Europe, a cost of about 3.8% of the country’s GDP. Cyprus also spends one of the lowest amounts among EU countries for healthcare.
The reforms that have been made in the past in Cyprus have been of limited scope, with the result that the financial crisis has put the health system under unbearable pressure. Last but not least, there is no system to ensure universal, full and equal coverage of patients.
The opportunities: The imminent reform in public hospitals, with their functional and economic autonomy, is a major challenge for the health system, as well as a wager of current political leadership. How patients and public can get involved in decisions about what healthcare should be available and eventually raise awareness of patients’ needs.