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Greeks end free health service to Turks

7 December 2012

On January 1st, 2013, Turkish Cypriots will no longer have access to free health services in the Republic of Cyprus, which have been available to them since 2003.

Over 50 million Euros worth of services were used by the citizens of North Cyprus. As the Greek administration does not recognize the TRNC, Greek Cypriot state hospitals made no charge to Turks who arrived from the North of the island for medical treatment. Following the economic crisis, however, over 100,000 Greek Cypriots will also be asked to pay for health services in the South.

Turkish Cypriots, on the other hand, have five state hospitals in the north where they can receive free medical treatment. If need be, they are referred to other hospitals in Turkey or the Near East University Hospital. TRNC state hospitals treat 370,000 patients and carry out nearly 10,000 operations every year.

The latest move came as part of the austerity measures taken by the Republic of Cyprus, which reached a preliminary agreement on a bailout package worth of 17.5 billion Euros with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Near East University Board of Trustees Chairman, İrfan Suat Günsel, said that since the university’s hospital opened in 2010, 6,000 patients have been referred there from state hospitals and that there was no longer any need for Turkish Cypriots to go to the South for treatment.

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