The Association of Private Clinics and Hospitals (Pasin) on Thursday accepted in principle a framework agreement for joining the national health scheme, Gesy.
The association agreed to a memorandum of understanding as a basis for negotiations between each of its members – clinics and hospitals – and the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), the state body tasked with overseeing Gesy.
Pasin said their acceptance of the memorandum is contingent on the state providing the necessary guarantees.
The association is seeking a number of clarifications as well as data from the HIO regarding their future status inside Gesy.
The details would be further hammered out in discussions with a committee set up for this purpose. Talks are set to get underway next week.
Pasin chairman Savvas Kadis sounded upbeat over Thursday’s preliminary deal, expressing the hope the association might be able to sign a final agreement with the state by month’s end.
In a tweet, health minister Constantinos Ioannou welcomed the association’s decision, calling it “a positive development on the trajectory to implement the second phase of Gesy”.
Main opposition Akel likewise hailed the news.
“Much work lies ahead, and the challenges considerable, until we are able to achieve a comprehensive and smooth implementation of Gesy,” a party cadre said in a statement.
“With this development, however, a decisive step has been taken in that direction.”
The HIO has been trying to get private hospitals on board Gesy before the implementation of the second phase which involves the introduction of inpatient care, set to kick in on June 1, 2020.
To date, Pasin had been declaring it was against the current health scheme citing concerns over the financial viability of private hospitals should they join under the terms they had been offered in the past but also failure to continue providing high-quality health services.
Last April, the association announced that 14 of its members that had decided not to join Gesy formed a private medicine network instead.
As recently as September, and in an apparent sign of internal disagreements, Pasin was denying media reports that some of the largest private healthcare centres had decided to enrol in the national health scheme.
Pasin is a member of the Employers and Industrialists Federation.