Cyprus Mail
Health

Four scenarios for health scheme, minister says

Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis

THE health ministry has identified four scenarios concerning the financing of the planned national health scheme (Gesy), minister Giorgos Pamboridis said on Thursday.

Of the options under consideration, the minister said he favoured that which provides for contributions of 2.85 per cent from employers, employees, pensioners and rentiers; 4.55 per cent from the state; and 4.09 per cent from self-employed persons.

Pamboridis told MPs he would initiate a new round of meetings with all stakeholders – employers and employees unions – in a bid to come to a mutually acceptable formula.

Should his efforts fail, he added, he would defer to the House health committee, which is currently reviewing the government’s bills.

In parliament, officials from the Employers and Industrialists Federation and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce complained that fixing the contributions percentages would be premature at this stage, since as of yet the cost of the system is unclear.

The scenario referred to by the minister is the fourth option laid out in a 2013 actuarial study carried out by Mercer for the government.

Co-payments would amount to €40 million – the lowest co-pay of the four scenarios.

For outpatient care, the maximum co-pay fees are €300 per person, and €75 for beneficiaries of guaranteed minimum income and low-income pensioners.

Per service, the fees are set per visit at €3 for personal general practitioners, €6 for specialists, €6 for MRIs and CT scans, €0.50 for medicines, €0.50 for clinical laboratories, €6 for other healthcare professionals, and €10 for accident and emergency wards.

According to Mercer’s report, the “base case scenario” for the financing method involves financing through contributions and at a lesser extent via co-payments.

The study notes: “The main components of contribution income under the NHS is contributions paid by active insured population and pensioners, primarily of the General Social Insurance Scheme (GSIS).  Other smaller sources of NHS income include contributions from rent, interest on deposits, etc.”

The full Mercer report:

http://www.moh.gov.cy/moh/moh.nsf/EEBCAF0CDB3C0C4FC22577BB0026941E/$file/2013_10%20MERCER%20Actuarial%20Study%20of%20Cyprus%20National%20Health%20Expenditure%20and%20National%20Health%20System.pdf

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