Personal doctors are not ‘secretaries’, the health insurance organisation (HIO) said on Friday and reminded people that Gesy beneficiaries need to visit their personal doctors to get a referral for a specialist.
Following complaints by doctors concerning patients pressuring them to send them a referral either by text or phone instead of visiting, the HIO head Andreas Papaconstantinou said GPs were not hired to act as secretaries and issue referrals.
Papaconstantinou mentioned the example of a patient who requested a referral to a dermatologist via SMS. “GPs have the knowledge to manage many of those cases,” Papaconstantinou said and added that around 70 per cent of health issues outside hospitals abroad are treated by GPs. “We need to cultivate this mindset in the public,” he added.
The organisation will also look into whether certain doctors’ issue a large number of referrals without a preceding personal consultation and take the appropriate action, he said.