The national health system (Gesy) stands to lose some €130m in 2020 after a planned raise in contributions had been suspended by the government as part of measures to support the economy amid the coronavirus crisis, a senior official said on Monday.
Angelos Tropis, a senior officer at the health insurance organisation (HIO), said the aim was to recover the loss by the end of the year in a bid to return to the pre-crisis budgets.
“The sooner the economy recovers the sooner we will return to the providers’ budgets we have before the coronavirus pandemic,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.
As part of the implementation of Gesy, beneficiaries’ contributions were scheduled to increase on March 1 ahead of the introduction of the system’s second phase, inpatient treatment, this month.
Until then, workers had 1.7 per cent deducted from their wages while employers chipped in 1.85 per cent and the state an additional 1.65 per cent.
The raise provided for contributions of 2.65 per cent for workers, 2.9 per cent for employers while an additional 4.7 per cent is contributed by the state.
The HIO drafted a three-year plan in which to recover the losses. It includes cuts in providers’ remuneration but also tapping the surpluses from 2019.
Tropis said Gesy income in the first three months of the year was €120m plus €10m from co-payments.
In the first five months of the year, the HIO spent some €200m on health services.
In the first five days of June, GPs issued 1,163 referrals for inpatient treatment while hospitals admitted 411 patients.
The increase was caused by a suspension in non-essential treatments amid the coronavirus pandemic.