It was a good day to bury bad news. The world was watching to see if Greece would implode under the strain of accepting a torturous bailout package when two senior public figures shoved their resignations under the door. Cyprus intelligence chief Andreas Pentaras said he did nothing wrong but felt compelled to resign (a very un-Cypriot tradition) over a hacking scandal.
And while our attention was averted Health Minister Philippos Patsalis dropped his little bombshell for “personal reasons”. Maybe those reasons have something to do with the health care system being an absolute shambles where the patient comes last and the civil servants come first. It seems the respected Patsalis wasn’t up to the task of bending the will of vested interests which have ensured the National Health Scheme remains shelved. Just like the failing education system, the state of our care in the community leaves a lot to be desired for a country that likes to see itself as ‘first world’. Cyprus is rich in talent and resources but dirt poor in delivering high quality patient care in our overcrowded and underfunded hospitals.
Nonetheless, the island’s battered hospitals are rarely a frontline issue that politicians have the urge to fix, most probably because they can jump the queue and go private. Societies should be judged on how they treat the sick, if so Cyprus would be a serial offender.
Although nobody wants to address this topic, I would bet a brand new MRI scanner that people are needlessly dying in hospital because the quality of care is not what it should be, especially during weekends when staffing is thin.
Another truth the government can’t handle is the intrusive nature of the Cyprus Intelligence Service (KYP) which appears to have a free hand in snooping on us all without prior cause. Take it as a given that we are being spied on by the spooks at KYP in the interests of national security. This has nothing to do with fighting international terrorism but everything to do with weeding out would-be ‘traitors’. We are all guilty until proven innocent. Just like the health service, nobody is asking the real questions. The government just signed off the budget for KYP’s hacking equipment without asking what they needed the money for and why. That’s how things work around here, ask no questions, tell no lies.