Cyprus Mail

Diko expresses outrage over cabinet volte-face on SGO healthcare

The cabinet’s approval of supplementary health insurance for workers at semi-government organisations (SGOs) was a distortion and diversion from the single-payer philosophy of the national health system (Gesy), opposition Diko said on Thursday.

In a written statement, the party said the decision was a blow to Gesy’s philosophy and it created two-tier patients.

Diko called on the government and trade unions Sek and Peo to tell the people which services the supplementary insurance would cover and whether they were not covered by Gesy.

“Why do they believe there must be two categories of patients?” the party said, adding that the current system was not what the parties had voted for.

It also pointed out that Sek and Peo were the ones demanding a single-payer system but in the case of SGOs and local authorities they also wanted a multi-payer system.

“Do they believe in Gesy or don’t they?” Diko said.

“The Democratic Party demands explanations and corrective action immediately since decisions like these challenge the sense of justice, create new distortions, and thus undermine the credibility of the health system,” it said.

The cabinet’s decision allows workers of SGOs and local authorities to keep their private insurance after the full implementation of Gesy next year, paid for by taxpayers.

It was a reversal of a decision taken in February to scrap private health insurance providing healthcare to workers of semi-government organisations such as EAC and CyTA and local government. The original decision prompted a series of work stoppages by some of the organisations involved.

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