Private hospitals association (Pasin) on Friday said they found unfair a unilateral decision by the government to reduce by six per cent the rates agreed on earlier this year concerning their participation in the second phase of Gesy.
The new proposal was expected to be delivered to Pasin by the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) within the day.
Pasin and HIO had signed earlier in the year a memorandum based on which the organisation negotiated separate agreements with each private hospital that expressed interest in offering its services during the second and final phase of Gesy, which concerns the introduction of inpatient care. The second phase is scheduled for June 1.
Due to the reduced proceeds from the coronavirus lockdown from Gesy contributions, the government announced that it would renegotiate the fees of both family doctors (GPs) and private hospitals.
As regards private hospitals, HIO general director, Andreas Papaconstantinou, said on Friday their proposal remains the same as regards the provisions of the memorandum agreed with Pasin except for a six per cent reduction in the rates agreed until the end of the year.
To offset this loss of proceeds, the HIO proposes to offer a 10 per cent bigger workload to the private hospitals.
“We do not try to sugarcoat this deviation,” Papaconstantinou told state broadcaster CyBC. He said the memorandum should have been implemented in its entirety, but due to the difficult financial situation, the HIO offered the minimum possible deviation in an effort to ensure the viability of private hospitals and even their profitability.
Head of Pasin, Dr Savvas Kadis told CyBC that some private hospitals do not have a margin for taking in more cases. He also argued that if more work was given to the private hospitals but at below cost prices, “it is a thankless gift.”
Kadis said that during the pandemic, Pasin had agreed to a 20 per cent reduction of rates, proposed by the health ministry, to take in cases referred to them from the public sector.
“That price was way below cost, but we did not complain because it was for a short period of time and we too had to do our bit for our country during those difficult hours,” he said.
That situation however, he said, had put private hospitals in a much worse position than three months ago.
Offering lower rates than what has been agreed, would have consequences on the quality of services offered, he said, “which is not negotiable for us.”
He added that they do not agree and neither are they satisfied with this move, adding that after a long, painful negotiation that led to the memorandum, the unilateral withdrawal of that agreement was unfair for private hospitals.
Kadis said Pasin would meet on Monday to discuss the proposal.