“Early elections and the change of government in the TRNC have slowed down developments, but I believe that we will continue cooperation in the coming days”, Recep Akdag, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister and responsible for Cyprus affairs has said.
Speaking at a meeting with TRNC Minister of Health Filiz Besim and her delegation in Ankara, Akdag said that he is responsible on behalf of Turkey’s government for economic cooperation and development with the TRNC, adding that he is very happy with this duty.
Reminding that there is a three-year cooperation programme between Turkey and the TRNC, Akdag noted: “We have a long-term cooperation programme. While work is conducted within the framework of the 2016-2017-2018 programme, I started to work eagerly on adding new products or by speeding up the work.”
Stating that the field of health has a special place for him amongst the other areas where cooperation exists between the two countries, Akdag said they could realise a transformation in the TRNC’s health system, similar to the one they had succeeded in establishing in Turkey which had won the world’s admiration.
Health Minister Besim replied that:
“One of the main reasons why we could not establish a successful healthcare system is our failure to establish a general health insurance system. Introducing a general health insurance system has been discussed in the TRNC since 2000 but we haven’t shown the necessary will nor have we been able to find the funds. In the end, we could not build the system within the framework of general health insurance”.
Stating that laws regarding circulating capital and patient rights could not be ignored, she said “it is both the government’s and my priority to build a system on solid foundations and to create a better health system.”
Moreover, Besim explained that her ministry is working closely with Akdag, adding that kidney transplants are being performed in the TRNC with a team from Hacettepe University. She noted that there was also a protocol of cooperation with the Medical Faculty of Antalya Mediterranean to begin performing heart transplants in the TRNC, in the very near future.