Issues relating to software changes were partly to blame for the delayed amendment of the procedures for better access to innovative treatments and medicines under the national health scheme Gesy, the health ministry said on Monday.
A ministry statement said the procedures for the transfer of innovative treatments, chemotherapies and specialised medicines to private hospitals registered with Gesy were expected to change on Friday.
However, based on the new circular that was sent on June 30, this was pushed back to October 2, 2022, the ministry said.
“The software diversification process has contributed to the delay,” the announcement said, adding that “superhuman efforts” were being made so that the software issue was resolved and the new process implemented in August.
“The issue of timely supply of medicines by all hospitals will be resolved with the inclusion of innovative medicines in the lists reimbursed by the health insurance organisation (HIO), as the delivery in most cases will be done directly by the pharmaceutical companies,”.
So far, supply was through the pharmacies of state hospitals, after communication with the relevant authorities.
The ministry was responding to an article by Phileleftheros newspaper which suggested that at the moment, only those who can pull strings have immediate access to these treatments.
“All of this is unacceptable and puts people at risk…we can’t have to call the President of the Republic or the minister of health to secure treatment for our patients,” head of the German Oncology Centre, Professor Nikolaos Zamboglou was quoted as saying.
Zamboglou said patients might wait longer than a month for a treatment that is available on the island to be transferred from one district to the other.