Cyprus Mail

Ban on non-Gesy doctors at private hospitals to remain

Private doctors with practices within hospital contracted with the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) had their request to maintain the status quo rejected by a court on Thursday.

The move was welcomed by the auditor general’s office which said that the HIO will now finally have to comply with the law.

“We expect that finally, the HIO – after two years of putting up with illegalities – will comply and request that the Gesy-contracted clinics will comply with the law,” the audit office tweeted.

Auditor general Odysseas Michaelides also chimed in, adding that the backdoor to a multi-insurance system will now close.

“We highlighted the illegality on 15.7.2020 and the fact that it went counter to the basic principle of the law of a universal healthcare system which will provide equal treatment to all,” he said.

For its part, the HIO on Thursday confirmed that the body’s prohibition on such services now applies. It noted, however, that an interim order was filed by a plaintiff (one of the private doctors) – with the court not deciding whether to issue it, but said that the matter will be revisited on November 24.

The decision to prohibit doctors with a private practice within hospitals contracted with the HIO but who themselves are not registered with the national health system was announced in late September.

That move was then rejected by those same doctors, who sought to challenge it but that has now failed.

The HIO took flak for having allowed doctors outside the national health system (Gesy) to practice private medicine in hospitals that are part of the system. Both the auditor-general and MPs said the law governing Gesy expressly forbids this, and that consequently the HIO – the agency tasked with running Gesy – has effectively acted illegally by allowing this to happen.

The HIO denied it broke the law.

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