Tripoli, 21 April:
Stavros Malas, Cypriot Minister of Health, met with Salah Abourgiba, Libya’s Chargé d’Affaires in Nicosia, on Friday to discuss . . .[restrict]medical treatment of Libyan patients in Cyprus. Malas’s discussions comes ahead of his planned visit to Libya on 28-29 April.
On the agenda next week will be cooperation between the two countries in the fields of healthcare, pharmaceuticals and administrative training for medical facilities.
Mala’s said that the Libyan government had signaled interest in Cyprus, looking to implement similar programs for Libyan patient care, as operated in Jordan. “The Libyan government asked us over to discuss this….. the policy has been implemented in Jordan, but also to a certain extent in Greece and Italy,” said Malas.
Manufacturing medication was also discussed in talks between him and the chargé d’affairs and assistance was requested to provide technical expertise for a new pharmaceuticals factory in Libya.
In keeping with their support for post-revolution Libya and its transitional government, Cyprus welcomed the idea of medical tourism as a means to provide services to Libya while bolstering its own economy and supporting growth of its private hospitals.
Malas made it clear that Libyan patients would be admitted to private hospitals and not public ones, citing that Cyprus’s public health system was already overloaded. Medical specialisations in which Cyprus is seeking to attract patients are in the fields of heart disease, cancer and pediatric surgery.
Cyprus has been keen to foster bilateral relations since 2009, when a Protocol of Cooperation was signed by Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis and the then Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil. The protocol’s aim was to increase relations in the areas of commerce, economy and science. Cyprus, which has some of the lowest taxes in Europe, had a of number companies operating in Libya, and hoped to attract foreign investment to Libya via Cyprus, taking advantage of its taxation system.