Around 35 per cent of the population continues to pay private health insurance despite the implementation of a national health scheme (Gesy) about three years ago, Cyprus medical association (CMA) and Cyprus integrity forum (CIF) said Monday.

In a joint statement, the association and the NGO sounded the alarm demanding action “before it is too late to defend transparency and the healthy functioning of the general health scheme”.

The statement explained how the various amounts paid by the general population to ensure private health services “could be paid into a single health system, fully controlled and completely transparent,” which would offer the highest quality medical services and security.

It added that following a short survey, it was found semi-state and other organisations continue to receive full contributions on the grounds they cover health services not provided by Gesy but “there is no clear picture of the exact amount of these contributions” or which services they cover exactly.

Furthermore, the health ministry “spends an additional respectable amount every year, for emergencies referred abroad or to private hospitals in the country”.

Their statement comes amid the backdrop of recent reports concerning illegalities within the health scheme, with doctors and CIF saying they “cannot accept” that corruption in the medical profession is the biggest problem of Gesy.

“We do not find doctors in the top ten positions in the global rankings of professions most affected by corruption,” they said.