The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) announced on Tuesday its members would follow through on their obligation to start contributions to the National Health Scheme (Gesy) on March 1, though these will be suspended should Gesy deviate from the given time-frame.
However, Keve said from the outset it was in favour of a multi-insurance system for Gesy, which would bring about competition that would benefit patients, it nevertheless accepted the current Gesy legislation which foresees a universal insurance system, after its unanimous approval by political parties and parliament.
However, the continued support of Keve depends on three conditions, it said. These include the successful autonomisation of public hospitals within a given time-frame; the strict compliance with the given budget; and the initiation of contributions and services on the announced dates.
As such, should the first phase of Gesy fail to be implemented on June 1 this year as planned, Keve announced it will suspend its contributions to the scheme.
In March 2019, contributions for Gesy will be collected by the social insurance services, the tax department and the state treasury.
Phase One of Gesy will kick in on June 1. This concerns outpatient care provided by personal physicians, specialists, pharmacies and labs.
Gesy will be in full swing as of June 1, 2020 with inpatient care.
Meanwhile, the medical society of family and personal doctors announced its unanimous support on Tuesday for the introduction of Gesy, which the society said its members are free to join if they so wish.
The medical society called on all parties involved – the government, Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) and Cyprus Medical Association (CyMA) – to immediately resume consultations to find the silver lining that will satisfy all sides.
More than 120 personal doctors have so far registered with Gesy, the HIO said on Tuesday.
Even so, the list of medical societies which have announced their opposition to Gesy is growing.
An announcement on Tuesday by the Nicosia Paediatricians Initiative, composed of Nicosia-based members of the medical society of paediatricians, said that 71 of the 81 Nicosia paediatricians currently practicing privately have rejected Gesy as it is currently being proposed.
At a meeting on January 26, the 71 paediatricians ratified an announcement stating that “we believe that the current scheme does not create the appropriate conditions for the provision of quality healthcare and for a safe environment for doctors,” calling on political leaders to make the necessary changes.
On a similar note, the medical society for microbiology pathologists announced on Tuesday their opposition to the current Gesy framework, citing an insufficient budget and consequent low-quality healthcare, as well as unclear guidelines for participation.
“The suggestions bade by the HIO for the compensation of microbiologists are not based on the actual cost of laboratory tests, but on hypothetical and approximate calculations,” the medical society said.
As a result, “the suggested prices are 50-70 per cent lower than current prices, and do not even cover the cost of supplies or equipment,” adding that the HIO’s refusal to accept fixing a minimum price means that the viability of clinical laboratories cannot be guaranteed.
Pathologists, haematologists and cardiologists were among 37 medical societies that announced in mid-January that they were backing the decision of the medical association’s (CyMA) medical board not to participate in Gesy.