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HIO said satisfied as two large private Nicosia hospitals confirm they are onboard

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The Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) on Friday said it was satisfied after two large private Nicosia hospitals agreed to join Gesy, just a couple of days before the country’s biggest health reform sees the introduction of inpatient care.

In total 42 private hospitals in all districts agreed to join Gesy, despite the government dropping the rates initially agreed by six per cent until the end of the year because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the four that had not decided were three large Nicosia hospitals, two of which, Aretaeio and Apollonio, have now said they will join. Consultations with the third Nicosia-based hospital, Hippocrateon, continue.

“The best in Nicosia has been won,” HIO director, Andreas Papaconstantinou, told the Cyprus News Agency.

According to Papaconstantinou, with Aretaeio and Apollonio coming on board, Gesy will be in a position to cover needs in Nicosia.

Papaconstantinou said HIO has covered all districts with the participation of large and small private hospitals, adding that together with the Organisation of State Health Services (Okypy) that runs state hospitals, they will now cover about 80 per cent of the hospital beds.

“This is considered a great success, as it is possible to meet all the needs through these beds,” he said. He added, however, that so many needs have accumulated that it will take some time to treat all those in need.

He said the hospitals will sign the contracts on Saturday so that that can start offering their services on Monday.

The government needs participation from private hospitals to render the second phase of Gesy viable.

Papaconstantinou also explained that inpatient care will be introduced on June 1, when the second and final phase of Gesy rolls out, but that other services that were also slated to start on that date have been pushed back until September or October.

This concerns clinical dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, clinical psychologists, the services of nurses and midwives, the accident and emergency departments, ambulance services, dentists, palliative and restorative health care.

He pointed out however, that despite that many providers offer these services, “with the inclusion of the inpatient care on June 1, essentially, to a very large extent the service package of Gesy is completed.”

Papaconstantinou said there are sure to be problems since the introduction of inpatient care is a very complicated and will take some time to sort everything out. “We will solve them as we go along,” he said.

This is just the first step, he said, but an important one.

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