Cyprus health system review.

Mamas Theodorou, Chrystala Charalambous, Christos Petrou, Jonathan Cylus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The health system in Cyprus comprises separate public and private systems of similar size. The public system, which is financed by the state budget, is highly centralized and tightly controlled by the Ministry of Health. Entitlement to receive free health services is based on residency and income level. The private system is almost completely separate from the public system and for the most part is unregulated and largely financed out of pocket. In many ways there is an imbalance between the public and private sectors. The public system suffers from long waiting lists for many services, a situation that has been worsened by the recent economic crisis, while the private sector has an overcapacity of expensive medical technology that is underutilized. To try to address these and other inefficiencies, a new national health insurance scheme funded by taxes and social insurance contributions has been designed to offer universal coverage and introduce competition between the public and private sectors through changes in provider payment methods. However, the scheme has not been implemented due to cost concerns. Despite the low share of economic resources dedicated to health care and access issues for some vulnerable population groups, overall Cypriots enjoy good health comparable to other high-income countries. World Health Organization 2012, on behalf of the European Observatory on health systems and Policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-128
Number of pages128
JournalHealth systems in transition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


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