As from June 1, personal doctors and pediatricians working under the general health system (Gesy) will no longer be paid exclusively per number of patients, the acting head of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) Efi Kamitsi told the Cyprus News Agency on Thursday.
Under the new formula, part of the renumeration for will be calculated on the basis of quality criteria and indicators, such as home visits and on call care. Remuneration for personal doctors will also be linked to their issue of referrals to specialist doctors and for diagnostic and lab tests, she added.
For pediatricians, other than the number of patients, renumeration will reflect house visits, on call care and presence at birth.
But the formula has still not been finalised, with consultations still under way, she added.
The changes come amid complaints of abuse of the system with some doctors reportedly signing up a large number of patients without providing the follow through care and others too prone to issue referrals to specialists and order scores of tests that may not be needed.
Kamitsi said that the HIO was systematically monitoring doctors’ behaviour through the Gesy software, especially as regards referrals.
Asked whether the proportion of unjustified referrals remained high, Kamitsi said that these had stabilized, but remained high compared to other European countries.
The problem cannot be resolved simply by linking it to remuneration but requires protocols, instructions as to the issuing of referrals, the cultivation of greater awareness among the public and training of personal doctors, she said.
Asked whether contracts had been suspended because of doctors’ ‘behaviour’ as regards referrals, she said this was not the case, adding that the HIO was currently focusing on quality and abuse of the system, and was intensifying checks.
As regards contract renewals of personal doctors and pediatricians, she said the process has been completed with 99 per cent of doctors agreeing to renew. Three doctors ended their contracts because they are leaving Cyprus.