Cyprus Mail

Vaccination discrimination against those with private healthcare

I have been following your reporting about the inability of privately insured individuals (many of whom, like myself are not originally from Cyprus) to receive the Covid vaccination. This is a serious matter, a national health concern, and it remains unclear why this group is being excluded.

Yes, there is an online form one can post or send electronically, but the emails are not replied to in my experience and according to those who post in your comments section.

I have lived in Cyprus since 2012, am a non-EU spouse of a UK husband. We have private healthcare coverage that costs thousands of euros per year, due to age (45-50 category). This policy is a requirement by the Cypriot government for all international individuals who chose to live here full time.

My spouse is a company director, he employs a small staff all of whom – plus he and the company – pay Cyprus taxes, and all office staff are Cypriot citizens. My spouse pays social insurance, and did sign on to Gesy last year, as the specialist he sees for post-cancer treatment is now on the Gesy system. Otherwise, like me, he goes privately. Unlike my spouse, I do not work in Cyprus, and am not directly entitled to Gesy.

People like me who want to receive the vaccination are not being permitted to be vaccinated without waiting a significant time, experiencing worry, and unnecessary hassle – and the situation is already quite stressful enough (especially given the new ‘SafePass’ dictat).

I have an auto-immune condition and significant allergies and would like to be monitored by my GP who has agreed to give the jabs at his office. However, this week he told us that he is not permitted to administer the jabs to his private patients. So going against medical advice, if given the choice to have the jab at all, and not wait any longer, I would be fine to go to the vaccination centre like many, and just risk any complications.

I am also fine with the AZ jab and would actually prefer it.

We have a right to choose to use private insurance and as Cyprus visa-holders we are required to do so. Why is this fact being conflated as an issue for the vaccination programme? Why is the health system not including privately insured individuals in their push to vaccinate, or even, making it simple for them, to book appointments? We are being left behind. This is most concerning. And dangerous for all.

I have no reason to use the public system and am in the most basic way saving Cyprus money by choosing to go privately.

This situation is causing much stress, at an already stressful time. And it would seem that so long as one is registered with a GP who has chosen to participate in the vaccination programme, that private-pay individuals should not be excluded nor discriminated against in any way,


A concerned Limassol resident

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