Cyprus Mail

House to vote Friday on HIO budget

Parliament will on Friday be voting on the 2019 budget for the Health Insurance Organisation, the public entity tasked with managing the National Health Scheme (Gesy).

The funds allocated to the HIO are just under €500,000, specifically covering the needs of Gesy for the latter half of the year.

The first phase of the national health scheme is to be rolled out in June with free primary healthcare.

In statements to the press on Thursday, Edek MP Marinos Sizopoulos complained that the House health committee only had about half an hour to review the budget submitted by the government, under a fast-track process.

It was nowhere near enough time to make informed decisions, he noted.

“This shake and bake approach, which some people want to push for obvious reasons, is in my view unacceptable. If parliament wishes to maintain its credibility as a law-making body, it needs to send its own messages,” Sizopoulos added, perhaps telegraphing his party’s stance at the upcoming vote.

Questions persist as to whether the annual budget for the scheme, about €1bn, will be sufficient to cover all the expenses.

By some estimates, the budgeted funding for Gesy may be as much as €300m short of the scheme’s real needs.

Contributions for the first phase of Gesy began on March 1.

A number of professional medical groups have declined to participate in the scheme.

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