The recent decision of the Greek Cypriot administration to end free health care for Turkish Cypriots in the South has upset cancer patients who were being treated there.
The Greek Ministry of Health has announced that it has completed work on the health bill which will cancel the free health care that has been given to Turkish Cypriots in the South since 2003.
The 2013 budget had included an amount of 5.8 million euros to cover this health cost. Now, this amount will be added back to the South’s budget.
Turkish Cypriots working in the South who have social security papers will still be eligible.
The head of the Cancer Patients Aid Association, Raziye Kocaismal yesterday visited the TRNC Health Minister Ertugrul Hasipoglu. The aim of the meeting was to highlight the concerns of cancer patients who will now have to be treated in the TRNC.
Mr Hasipoglu replied that no one need be concerned by the developments in the South. He promised that in a few months the health service would be able to take care of all cancer patients. In the meantime, they would be taken care of at the Near East Hospital or sent to Turkey for treatment.
Mr Hasipoglu acknowledged that cancer related illnesses were increasing all around the world but especially so in the TRNC. Soon the Food Act would be passed which would control genetically modified foods in the TRNC. In addition, radiotherapy equipment had been bought and in May the construction of a specialist radiotherapy room would begin. This was planned to be completed in July.
In fact, Mr Hasipoglu said that at that stage, Greek Cypriots could apply for health care in the TRNC.
A health census of the whole of the TRNC would be complete by the end of the year and a number of regions had already been covered.
In addition a tender had recently been announced for TL 27.5 million of medicines to cover gaps in the supply of these in the TRNC.