The Cyprus Medical Association on Monday welcomed the finance ministry’s intention to prepare a new study on implementing a viable national health scheme (Gesy) with a realistic budget that covers the needs of the population.
Their statement comes after Health Minister Giorgios Pamboridis said on Friday that state doctors would get an extra €3m boost for pay rises and allowances in a push to increase productivity in public hospitals and help meet staffing needs.
At the time Pamborides said it was an intermediate solution until the administrative and financial autonomy of hospitals kicked in. The aim, he said, was the smooth operation of hospitals, to keep existing staff, but also to attract new.
However, the medical association emphasised that the move could only be a short-term solution and just one of many issues which need to be resolved.
The doctors have repeatedly said that a study conducted by Mercer in 2013 on behalf of the ministry does not reflect reality.
“In Mercer’s study financial data from 2011 and 2012 were considered and therefore the aggregation and evaluation of the economic crisis is very limited and hypothetical data may not be realistic,” the association stated.
In February 2016, the medical association commissioned their own study conducted by international firm Deloitte. The results, according to the association, showed the Mercer study didn’t use historical data and an independent confirmation of the data was not carried out. Medical procedures were not agreed upon by the stakeholders and thus actual costs for them could not be obtained.
All these issues must be taken into consideration before Gesy can be implemented, the doctors said in their statement, adding they reserved the right to present a comprehensive, substantial and final proposal that is patient-centred.
The system should ensure that the entire population regardless of income, age, pre-existing diseases and problems is covered while there needs to be a compulsory contribution on the basis of income to protect vulnerable groups and the poor, the medical association said.
Patients should have a free choice of whom they decide to consult and should have access to efficient health services. At the same time, the system needs to be economically sustainable based on actual economic data and information.