Cyprus Mail

Insurance companies ‘worried’ about mini-NHS

INSURANCE companies expressed their concern on Thursday over the sudden announcement of the introduction of a so-called mini NHS by Health Minister Giorgos Pamborides.

The companies’ association, SAEK, said there were gaps and questions concerning the ministry’s intentions.

“The gradual implementation of the NHS is a step in the right direction,” SAEK said, “but there is no point in a proposal, which refers a larger number of patients to an already problematic public organisation that cannot serve the ones it currently has.”

Last week, Pamborides announced a “mini-NHS” to be introduced in mid-2017, with limited contributions by employees and employers – 1 per cent of wages each – to be applicable only at public hospitals, as a stepping stone to full implementation of a single-payer universal coverage health system.

The measure aims to funnel funds into state hospitals, which are slated to become financially and administratively autonomous as of January 1, 2017.

SAEK said the proposal also deprived people of a choice of doctor and hospital when insurance schemes and other health plans gave them that right.

“The huge problems displayed in the effort to implement it make it blatantly obvious that the planning, dating back to the 90s, needs to be reviewed and modernised.”


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