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Despite initial doubts, Gesy welcomed says former minister

Former Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou

Three years after its introduction, the national health scheme Gesy has dispelled the clouds of doubt that surrounded its launch, former health minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Sunday.

“Now Gesy is the property of society and part of the everyday life of every citizen, to whom it offers equal access to quality health services and medicines without exclusions,” he said in an interview with Politis.

“This was and remains the basic philosophy of the system, the reason why it was made and exists.”

He added that the number of doctors, pharmacies, diagnostic centers and private hospitals that now come under the Gesy scheme are way higher than when it first launched.

Gesy was introduced on June 1, 2019, with the second phase including inpatient care coming in one year later.

As this was in the midst of the Covid pandemic, Ioannou said “Gesy had a baptism of fire under particularly difficult conditions but showed that it has the endurance that allows us to be optimistic about its future course.”

“Day by day Gesy is improving, upgrading and progressing to meet the new needs that are constantly being created,” Ioannou said.

However, he said three years is a very short amount of time to evaluate the system, he said admitting that “weaknesses exist and deficits were identified, and abuses continue to be made.

“At the same time, however, we must note that Gesy has the technical mechanisms and the legislated tools to remove distortions and reduce problems.”

The Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), which runs Gesy, is making a reat deal of effort, the former minister said, suggesting this should be intensified.

“From day one, Gesy had its opponents, who unfortunately continue to undermine it,” Ioannou said, adding that it would not have been introduced at all were in not for the political will of President Nicos Anastasiades.

 

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