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'Polluter pays' principle should be applied to health sector, deputy says.

DISY MP Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis has proposed the creation of a statutory fund to financially assist patients that are sent abroad by the government for medical treatment.

Over 5,800 patients have been sent abroad for treatment in the last three years, a practise that has cost the government over e1/4105 million. However despite this outlay by the government the patients and their families are forced to pay for travel, accommodation and recuperation costs out of their own pockets.

Hadjiyiannis said: "The problems faced by patients that need to go abroad for surgery is multifaceted, since it affects both the economic and social aspects of their lives."

Hadjiyiannis explained that the procedures employed by the government on deciding which patients needed to go abroad were time consuming, and sometimes the patients were unsure that they would even be going abroad until the last minute. Therefore the MP proposes the creation of a statutory fund to provide immediate assistance.

This fund would come under the "polluter pays" principle in the sense that those who pollute the environment would be forced to make a contribution to the fund. The reasoning behind this philosophy according to the MP "is that pollution is scientifically proven to be responsible for many of the health problems modern society faces."

Hadjiyiannis specifies that in order not to burden the consumer with additional taxes the government could use a system similar to the existing system for electricity payments. With electrical payments a set fixed fee is paid, the government would then deduct a tiny amount from the fixed fee for the fund. That way the government and then the polluter would contribute to the fund and not the public, the MP said.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2009

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Oct 23, 2010
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