Cyprus Mail

Private doctors propose changes to improve Gesy

The Private Doctors’ Association (EIK) proposed a set of changes to Gesy on Wednesday, following complaints that public finances were being squandered to pay GPs, as well as Gesy doctors carrying out private practice simultaneously.

President of the association Haris Armeftis said that the way doctors will be paid under the system is illogical.

“We believe that for someone to be paid based on the number of people they have on their list is not representative,” he said.

Armeftis said that the idea does not work on paper. As an example, he added that doctors would not have time to see so many patients (2,500 being the maximum one GP can have), as it would amount to being able to see 45 patients during an eight-hour work-shift.

He added that this cannot be accomplished and that it would create long waiting lists that would be a burden on the economy and patients.

“The main reason patients die is time,” he said, commenting on the waiting lists. He said that a patient could have to wait four months for a biopsy on for possible lung cancer, which could result in the disease spreading and diminishing the patient’s chances of living.

He added that it is unacceptable that in a month, there are doctors in Gesy that had three month waiting lists, especially when it was advertised by the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) that a patient would be able to see his/her doctor in 72 hours.

Commenting on the criteria to become a GP, Armeftis said that they were ‘not homogenous.’ He said that it was logical for a doctor to want to leave the public sector and move to the private sector where they can make more money for the same work.

Asked about the use of public finances, Armeftis said that it is being squandered, “whether or not we want to believe it.”

He added that they have witnessed incidents where doctors, who are in Gesy, practice privately. He said that his organisation has received complaints that the HIO has allowed doctors in Gesy to not register children on their lists and to charge them privately if they have private insurance.

Regarding specialists, the head of the private doctors said that the parliament recently passed a bill stating that specialists do not need to register the patient in the Gesy system, leaving a window open for the specialist to charge them privately.

Armeftis said that the organisation recommends there should be no lists for first degree care. Patients should have access to whichever doctor they want, resulting in the abolishment of lists, giving the doctors motives to immediately help the patients, creating conditions of healthy competition, he said.


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