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Attempts to demonise us will not stop Gesy, says HIO

Nicosia General Hospital

No attempt to demonise or undermine the work of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) will stop the implementation of the national health scheme (Gesy), the group said on Saturday.

The organisation was responding to Friday’s accusations by the private hospital association (Pasin) that said the HIO had been lying about the plan’s management.

The HIO, tasked with managing the Gesy, said that they were disappointed in Pasin and that the group had conducted an “orchestrated campaign to create tension and a sense of insecurity” about the scheme.

“The people, organisations, political parties, the parliament, and the whole state have decided that the Gesy will be equal, universal, sturdy, social, unified, and not a system where the majority of citizens are required to receive second-rate medical aid,” the HIO said.

It added that Pasin’s ‘war of words’ would not stop Gesy from being enacted in the timeframe that has been set out.

On Friday, Pasin spokemsan Dr Marinos Soteriou said the HIO’s lies were aimed at cultivating super expectations among the public for a health scheme that was planned “haphazardly and in an amateur way 2.

The proposed Gesy, Soteriou said, “is unfortunately ill since its inception”. It was for this reason, he said, that it needed competent doctors and quality inpatient care to get well.

Soteriou said it was a lie that Gesy was based on actuarial study analysing the existing system and comparing it with the proposed health scheme. The study was carried out in 2010 and did not take into consideration the economic crisis three years later. He said it needed to be updated “so that we know what is true today and not what was true nine years ago.”

Pasin also dismissed as lies the idea that Gesy would provide universal health care that patients would be able to choose any doctor or hospital they wished and receive top-quality healthcare.

“The HIO already knows that patients who can afford to, can pay the difference and buy brand name drugs,” Soteriou said. This alone, he said, creates “two-tier patients”.

He added that patients would not be able to choose any hospital or doctor, as they will have no access to hospitals and doctors who chose not to join Gesy if they are not covered by private insurance or are unable to cover medical expenses.

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