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Concern among MPs of ‘creeping’ two-tier Gesy

Opposition MPs on Thursday cautioned against what they said appear to be attempts to covertly introduce a multi-payer system into the national health scheme (Gesy).

Lawmakers said not enough private clinics in Limassol have joined Gesy, meaning that people there would not have access to affordable medical care.

Akel deputy Giorgos Georgiou spoke of a major private hospital in Limassol that is not part of Gesy yet. However, individual doctors working at that hospital and who themselves have joined Gesy are not being allowed to offer their services or perform surgery, he claimed.

Marinos Sizopoulos, MP and leader of the Edek party, said information was coming in showing that the single-payer system – on which Gesy is based – is gradually being eroded.

“It appears that we are getting two-speed medical facilities,” Sizopoulos noted.

“There are hospitals where a ward that is enrolled with Gesy, also avail of the same ward not part of Gesy, and this is illegal.

“It has also been verified that there are cases where doctors who are not themselves contracted with Gesy, but who work at a hospital that is enrolled with Gesy, will receive a fee for treating Gesy patients there.”

Sizopoulos said these practices pointed to an attempt by some quarters to introduce “through the backdoor” a multi-payer system into Gesy.

The second and final phase of the national health scheme, covering inpatient care, went live on June 1.

Dozens of private hospitals and clinics joined the system, while others are holding out.

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