An island-wide poll on the upcoming national health scheme (Gesy) found that there is doubt among the public over the quality of healthcare that will be offered by the scheme, while a majority believe the Health Ministry must bend to the demands of doctors and hospitals if the scheme is to be successful.
The study conducted over the phone by Cypronetwork Ltd and commissioned by the Cyprus Medical Association (CyMA), a body vouching for the interests of private doctors who have been refusing to join Gesy unless the scheme is amended to allow for private practice outside the system, found that the public places higher confidence in private healthcare than in public healthcare, and is wary of the quality of healthcare that will be provided under Gesy.
Given the stance of CyMA, the study said that “over six out of ten Cypriots believe that the ministry must propose amendments to the legislation in order to persuade [private] doctors and hospitals to join (64 per cent).”
Just 25 per cent said that the ministry should continue with the current framework.
However, 34 per cent said that they completely disagree with doctors being allowed to conduct private practice in conjunction with participating in Gesy.
While 51 per cent believe that Gesy will be ineffective, and 60 per cent doubt it will be ready for implementation in the set timeline, the public remains optimistic as 77 per cent believe that issues burdening the scheme will be resolved.
Regarding the public’s faith in private and public healthcare, 22 per cent described public healthcare as very bad, 28 per cent as bad, 17 per cent as good and six per cent as very good.
Contrastingly, 51 per cent described private healthcare as good and only six per cent as bad.
Regarding the structure of the Gesy legislation as it currently stands, 15 per cent described it as very bad, 24 per cent as bad, 24 per cent as moderate, 20 per cent as good and 6 per cent as very good.
There was also doubt regarding whether the public will receive healthcare of a quality that corresponds to the amounts that will be contributed to the scheme, as 25 per cent of the interviewees asserted the belief that the quality will definitely not correspond to height of contributions.
Additionally, 54 per cent said that the public should not be called to contribute to the scheme prior to its implementation and effective operation.
A majority of 26 per cent said they were in favour of the suggestion by the employers and industrialists federation (Oev) to postpone contributions until definitive agreements are found with all parties involved.
The study was conducted between March 19 and 29 among 700 people across districts, age, gender and social standing, was used.