The second phase of Gesy will be introduced on June 1 despite expected complications due to the coronavirus pandemic, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Monday.
The minister, speaking to state broadcaster CyBC radio, said that despite the initial idea of postponing the introduction of inpatient care until September it was finally decided to launch it as planned, on June 1.
“The decision now is that there should not be a postponement, it should start, despite the problems to be encountered,” Ioannou said.
The minister stressed that there will be delays in surgeries because of the backlog caused by the two-month postponement of non-urgent surgeries as part of coronavirus measures. The delays are also result of many people waiting to undergo surgery until after the second phase of Gesy was introduced, so that the state could pay for the procedure in a private hospital.
He recalled that hospitals have been ordered to use up to 60 per cent of their capacity to be prepared to deal with a possible increase in coronavirus cases.
Because of this, the minister explained that the hospitals’ capacity will still be reduced, and in tandem with increased demand for surgeries, there will be waiting lists and delays both in private and state hospitals.
“Both state and private hospitals will have to prioritise the urgent cases,” Ioannou said. He added that announcements will be made soon.
The minister also said that the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) that runs Gesy, has now launched a new round of consultations with doctors and other stakeholders for both the first and second phases of Gesy given the new data.
It is understood the new consultations concern lower amounts than those previously agreed.
The minister said that Gesy’s finances have taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic but that the adjustments made will not affect beneficiaries but providers.
“All of us have been affected financially, the medical community cannot remain unaffected,” the minister said later in the day.
The minister said that HIO is now renegotiating with private hospitals who expressed interest in joining some two months ago based on the new data. He added, however, that the new economic data will apply for a few months and not forever.