Find Health and Medical expertise in Cyprus

Health care in Cyprus is delivered through a combination of public and private services. The Ministry of Health is responsible for the organisation of the health care system in Cyprus and the provision of state-financed health care services to roughly 65% of the population, including Turkish Cypriots inhabiting the occupied area of the country. The private health sector is well developed. Although Cyprus has a national health insurance system, it is common for Cypriots – even when entitled to public health services – to top it up with complimentary medical care, as well as private health insurance in order to create more personalised treatment.

There are four main general hospitals in the public sector, with Nicosia General Hospital acting as the overall referral hospital for specialties not provided elsewhere in Cyprus. There are also three small rural hospitals, a mental health hospital and a hospital specialising in women and children. There are a variety of private hospitals and medical clinics throughout the country.

As with its health care system, the pharmaceutical market in Cyprus is divided into public and private sectors, operating independently at all levels to supply prescription and over-the-counter products. The public sector is funded by Government Medical Services with a limited number of products available only through hospital pharmacies. The private sector is dominated by large international pharmaceutical firms.

Medical card

Public health care is accessed through a medical card, which is means tested. To be eligible for the card, citizens also need to have paid into the Social Insurance taxation scheme. There are small charges to pay even with the card – currently €3 for a visit to a GP and €6 for an appointment with a specialist. Those without a medical card can still access public health facilities, but will pay higher charges – currently €15 for a GP appointment and €30 to see a specialist. The medical card is available to Cypriot citizens and EU residents permanently residing in Cyprus.

The accident and emergency departments of public hospitals are available to everyone. All patients pay €10 for a visit to accident and emergency, with a few exemptions, such as soldiers and those with disabilities.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Cyprus accounted for an estimated 90% of all mortality in 2012. In 2012 the most prevalent NCDs were cardiovascular diseases (39%) and cancer (24%). Diabetes and non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases contributed 7% and 6% to total mortality, respectively (2012). Communicable diseases along with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions accounted for an estimated 4% of all mortality in 2012. A government paper on HIV/AIDS reported that less than 0.1% of the population were living with HIV in 2012. Cyprus is considered a non-endemic country for malaria by the World Health Organization. Estimated incidences of tuberculosis (TB) have increased slightly overall during the period 1990–2013, and estimated mortality (when mortality data excludes cases comorbid with HIV) has roughly doubled over this time.

Cyprus currently has a life expectancy of 80 years, showing a sustained increase from 76 years in 1990 and 78 years in 2000. Gains have been primarily due to reduced child and maternal mortality, and improved longevity for other ages, particularly for older people with chronic diseases.

While traditional Mediterranean eating habits are low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates, this diet has been gradually abandoned in favour of fast-food dietary habits that are high in animal protein, saturated fat and cholesterol. This has contributed to the increasing numbers of overweight and obese Cypriots and, along with the prevalence of high blood pressure in Cyprus, is a major contributing factor to the high rate of cardiovascular diseases in the country. Cyprus is committed to the EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014–20, which demonstrates the shared commitment of EU member states to addressing childhood obesity.

Government expenditure

In 2013 government expenditure on health was 3% of GDP. In the most recent survey, conducted between 1997 and 2011, there were 229 doctors, and 446 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people. There is universal maternal health care in Cyprus (in 2011 qualified health attendants were present at 97 per cent of births) and, in 2013, 86% of one-year-olds were immunised with a dose of measles. In 2014, 100% of Cypriots had access to improved water sources and adequate sanitation facilities. In a survey conducted in the period 2000–10, there were 21 pharmaceutical personnel per 100,000 people.

Almost three-fifths of health care in Cyprus (57%) was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities – such as private insurers, charities or employers – in 2012. Total health expenditure constituted 7.3% of GDP in 2012, of which 43%  was covered by the government.

Cyprus has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which includes ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’. The covenant commits signees to providing healthy and hygienic environmental conditions, controlling epidemic diseases, improving child health and facilitating access to health services without discrimination.

Health and Medical organisations in Cyprus
Ministry of Health