The implementation of the second and final stage of Gesy is to be pushed back three months to the beginning of September, an official confirmed on Thursday.
According to the deputy head of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) that runs Gesy, said the delay in implementing the second phase of the national health scheme that covers inpatient care is down to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It seems impossible to start the second phase of Gesy on June 1. The most possible scenario is that there will be a three-month delay,” Andreas Papaconstantinou, told the Cyprus News Agency.
“If all goes well it will start on September 1,” he said.
He added that the HIO board is expected to rubber stamp this decision next Monday when they will be presented with a study on organisation’s preparedness and finances.
Papaconstantinou said measures to deal the pandemic have affected cash reserves.
He added, however, that the work carried out so far for phase two of Gesy has not been lost.
The overall plan will not greatly be affected, he said, but just delayed.
As regards contributions, Papaconstantinou said that in line with a cabinet decision, the higher salary deductions to cover phase two costs have also been postponed for three months.
Those with revenues and civil servants who in March paid the higher rates will have reduced rates for April, May and June and will start again paying higher rates in July.
For those who pay contributions through social insurance the low rates will continue in March, April and May and will go to the higher rate in June, he said.
Employees, pensioners, persons holding any office and income are charged a rate of 1.7 per cent while self-employed individuals 2.55 per cent, for the first phase of Gesy. Contributions were slated to rise to 2.65 per cent and 4 per cent respectively three months prior to Gesy’s full implementation.
The government, however, announced that salary deductions to support the second phase of Gesy would be reduced from April until the end of June as part of the emergency package to deal with the coronavirus.