October 19, the date on which other specialties were scheduled to join the health system (Gesy) still stands, a senior official said on Friday, as several professional groups complained that negotiations were not finished and not much time was left to strike a deal.
The head of the health insurance organisation (HIO), Andreas Papaconstantinou, said the date will be discussed next week along with the progress in the negotiations with various health professionals.
Dentists, occupational therapists, psychologists, physios, speech therapists, and clinical dietitians, all slated to join on October 19, have all express doubts over the plan, citing disagreements with the HIO.
On Thursday, the dental association said they could not join the system with the price the HIO set for the only service they would be offering – teeth cleaning – once a year.
The average cost of a cleaning is between €50 to €60 and it is understood that the HIO is offering dentists between €22 and €30 per unit, depending on the number of people who opt for it, plus an extra €5 for the fluoridation.
The dentists said the offer was not appealing, as they lobby for a higher unit price in the region of €40 minimum.
Papaconstantinou said no one could blame the HIO for not making “appealing” proposals.
A consultation is taking place and all possible scenarios must be exhausted and the remuneration must be considered sensible.
“We must be very careful with our finances. We are going through a pandemic. Private sector finances have taken a 60 per cent hit during this time and it is natural that HIO proposals must adapt with these circumstances. I think it would be unfair for anyone to criticise us for this approach,” Papaconstantinou said.
He said not all room for discussion with the particular health providers has been exhausted and the HIO was ready for talks and to explain its actions to parliament and the health minister.