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09-05-2019 21:03

Address of the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, at the Medical School Graduation Ceremony of the University of Nicosia

It gives me a great honor to be here with you, in this important day for all students of the Medical School of the University of Nicosia. Allow me to convey the warm greetings of President Anastasiades, who could not join us today.

Today marks a landmark for the Medical School of the University of Nicosia. A University that has over the years been a pioneer in medical education in our country. Since its establishment in 2011, the Medical School has evolved to an internationally recognized School, with students from many parts of the world such the United States of America, Canada, Australasia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

The University of Nicosia Medical School has proved throughout the years that dedication, targeted education and investment in knowledge can provide the students and academics the means, by which they can excel, serve their profession and contribute towards the wellbeing of the society.

Its well-known achievements can be observed in its rich activity and the significant cooperation it has developed with outstanding Academic Centers, Medical Schools and Universities abroad, like the St George’s University of London, the Sheba Medical Center, University of Tel Aviv, contributing thus to continuous knowledge and innovation development and providing new opportunities and prospects in the field of tertiary medical education, outstanding medical accomplishments and quality of care.

The variety of programs of studies offered, together with the above collaborations, has brought international recognition from the medical community, ensuring the quality of education and the continuous development.

Medical excellence can be achieved if we all have common targets, common values, if we all get involved in the process, both the public and the private sector and both the academia and health professionals for tomorrows medical experts.

This generation is being faced with many challenges, new medical advancements, ethics, medicine and research. The more skills you develop, the more specialized you will become and thus well prepared to practice the profession in the real world of medicine.

Considering the challenging and difficult periods that we had been experiencing, the Government was called to take decisive steps in improving the existing system. And this is our chance as a country, to invest in the right way, for the benefit of the society and our people, with the implementation of a National Health System, ensuring quality of healthcare service provision to all citizens, throughout their lifecycle. Just few days away, we are positive that the new healthcare scheme will bring together the public and the private health sectors and will raise new opportunities for the health professionals in our country.

Medical Schools in the island have a major role to play in this process that will lead to the comprehensive reform of the healthcare sector. We welcome the initiative of the University of Nicosia Medical School to establish a University Primary Care Centre within the National Health System.

The collaboration of the state Authorities with the Medical Schools in the island provides a great chance for the absorption of European investment funds and consequently, it empowers the Research and Innovation field, develops modern and innovative tools for diagnosis and treatment for the benefit of the patients.

The Ministry of Health promotes the regulation of the establishment and the operation of University Clinics, through which academic doctors and medical students benefit from practising clinical medicine, while the doctors in public hospitals have the chance to participate in academic activities and exchange knowledge and best practices with their colleagues from the academic area.

The law for the Cooperation of Medical Schools of Cypriot Universities and the State Health Services Organization and Private Hospitals, which has been drafted and currently is under review by the Attorney General office provides for:

-         the collaboration of the Medical Schools of the Universities with the Public / Private Hospitals for the clinical education, of the students of the Schools,

-         the conduct of clinical work by members of academic staff of the universities, and

-         the carrying out of teaching and research work by doctors and other staff of the Public/Private Hospitals.

Numerous benefits can be gained from the adoption of the legislative framework that include:

-         Improved quality of care and development of new cures and treatment therapies through innovative diagnostic and treatment technologies,

-         Provision of the appropriate scientific training for new doctors and scientists,

-         Creation of a scientific search culture in public and private hospitals to attract the best doctors in the area,

-         Creation of adequate lifelong learning infrastructures for the medical world thus promoting educational tourism,

-         Attraction of various sources of funding for research purposes that will boost hospital revenue enabling them to invest in high-tech technologies and equipment, and

-         Promotion of medical tourism that can extend from emergency health treatment to selecting a patient to travel to Cyprus to receive a specific medical service.

The continuous investment and development of the healthcare sector and the appropriate resource allocation, in addition to research and innovation, are indeed decisive steps towards achieving our targets.

Professors Pouyioutas and Charalambous,

Allow me to warmly congratulate you for all the excellent work you put together, and brings us to moments like this. I am positive that, under your guidance and with your expertise and knowledges, greater achievements are ahead us.

Dear Graduates,

Since knowledge is the most valuable asset in this world of potential, you, as young doctors, have the challenge ahead; Do devote yourselves in medicine, do invest in knowledge and serve the patient by being tomorrow’s medical experts.

My advice to you is to work hard. Nothing comes easy. Trust your instincts. Start questioning. Think through problems and defend your decisions. Be dynamic. Invent and serve your fellow human beings, serve the community and contribute for our society to become healthier.

In these difficult times, that is what the society needs. You will at some point face your own medical crises, either big or small ones. Be able to manage yourself, respect yourself and your patient. And always remember that healthcare provision is for all regardless of ethnicity, financial status or gender identity.

You are the future. The citizens count on you for their health. You are the ones to improve people’s health and wellbeing. The Medical School has provided you the wings, so that you can use them to fly and progress.

You have a bright future ahead and you can make the difference. Congratulations and all the best in your career.

* The address was delivered, on behalf of the President of the Republic, by the Minister of Health, Mr Constantinos Ioannou