Private clinical laboratories that have joined Gesy said on Tuesday they face many problems after the system was introduced mainly due to technical issues and procedures that in some cases takes four times longer to complete.
Head of the Clinical Laboratories Association Charilaos Charilaou told the Cyprus News Agency the technical problems have knock-on effects on their work.
He said before joining Gesy private labs had a different way of running clinical tests but now, for the same analyses, it takes four times longer.
Charilaou said that there are now many referrals for each Gesy patient while it should be only one for all the analyses they need. “There should a single referral that includes the haematological, biochemical, microbiological and immune tests labs examination. Now there are four different documents,” he said. This means labs have to do four different procedures and registrations and it takes four times longer to complete for less than half of what they used to be paid.
He said private sector labs had developed a way of working to offer quick, quality services so both doctors and patients were satisfied.
“We are now lost in this process. They have turned us into a ‘hospital situation’ because they have designed the system for hospitals.”
He said the whole procedure should be simplified and all referrals replaced by a single one for each patient.
Charilaou also expressed concerns over the new software system they are using which, he said, make things more difficult since it is still uncharted territory.
He expressed pessimism over positive changes in the revised software programme that will be available as of Friday because nothing changes for private labs.
“They have designed it for hospitals where laboratories are scattered. They take each patient’s blood in four bottles to send it to the hematology, microbiology lab, etc,” Charilaou said.
He added that the association raised the issue some five months ago.
As things stand now, he said, there is no barrier to how many analyses are being ordered while due to this oversubscription clinical laboratories have raised concerns over their fees.
“We do not know what to do with the payments, with our costs,” Charilaou said, adding that labs now wonder whether they will be permanently working to this rhythm.
The head of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) Thomas Antoniou said earlier in the week a revised version of the Gesy software programme already in use would be launched.
Antoniou said the software operated very well, exceeding expectations but that it would be further improved.
Cyprus, he said, may be one of the first countries to introduce a universal IT system for all services.
“The software is working, but as with all software improvements will be made based on observations from users,” Antoniou said.
He added it will be improved constantly.
Antoniou said healthcare providers have been trained to use the software, while more training sessions would follow for all professionals.