By the end of July to early August there will be seven health centres in the capital, operating until 8 pm on weekdays and until 1:30 pm on Saturdays, helping to ease crowding at the emergency departments of public hospitals, since non-urgent incidents will be treated at health centres in the evenings.
Two health centres operate in Limassol and one in each of the other cities. The opening hours of the health centres, however, will be extended until 8 pm and 1:30 pm on Saturdays.
The plan for primary healthcare aims at preparing state services for the implementation of the first phase of the General Health System. In the framework of the General Health System, the normal working hours of doctors’ clinics will be set from 7 pm to 6 pm. From 6 pm to midnight, patients will be able visit the on-duty Health Centre. From midnight to 7 am patients may visit the emergency departments (but the timetable is not, as of yet, finalised).
After the implementation of the Health System, beneficiaries will be able to buy drugs from private pharmacies contracted with the Health Insurance Organisation. Pharmacists are currently negotiating with the Health Insurance Organisation seeking a share of the provision of specific services to their clients. For example, they have expressed their wish to apply for the right to administrate vaccines, such as influenza vaccines. They argue that it will be easier to access local pharmacies than have to wait in clinics and hospitals for vaccination. There are currently no specific provisions for the fees of pharmacists who will offer their services to the General Health System.