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Cyprus

Changes at A&E will not affect beneficiaries, Okypy says

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The A&Es at state hospitals are overwhelmed Photo: CNA

The inclusion of public hospitals’ accident and emergency (A&E) departments in Gesy changes nothing for beneficiaries, as they will continue to receive the same services as before, officials said on Tuesday.

The state hospitals’ A&Es were included in the Gesy services on Tuesday, a move which Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) that runs the health scheme, said it was a step towards the completion of the full implementation of Gesy.

Officials said this transition changes nothing for beneficiaries.

“People will continue to receive the same services,” spokesman of state health services organisation Okypy, Charalambos Charilaou told the Cyprus Mail.

He said the change was at technical level concerning the use of the Gesy software but also the agreement on fees.

People who go to the A&Es will still pay a €10 fee for each visit and will enter triage. HIO called on people to only go to these departments when truly necessary warning that non-emergencies do not fall under the health care services provided by the A&Es and therefore will not be covered by Gesy.

Director of HIO, Constantinos Panayides, told Alpha TV on Tuesday that if it is not an urgent case, the triage officer will ask people to pay an additional amount on top of the €10, depending on the services required.

Panayides urged people to seek medical advice from their family physicians (GPs) if they are not having an emergency.

Some state doctors complain there was no adequate preparation before the A&Es joined Gesy.

Head of Pasyki state doctors’ union, Soteris Koumas, welcomed the move but said physicians have many questions as regards procedures which was proof there has not been proper preparation before the inclusion of the A&Es into Gesy.

Private hospitals’ A&E services are not included yet.

Panayides said that consultations with private hospitals are expected to start with the goal to have soon at least one private hospital’s A&E department in each district join Gesy.

According to Charilaou, however, the issue is not just about consultations but also pending regulations which set the standards private hospitals need to meet to be able to offer A&E services to Gesy beneficiaries. These regulations must be passed by parliament, he said.

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