Reports that specialist doctors working under Gesy illegally charge their patients extra for earlier appointments prompted the medical association to call for an investigation on Friday.

The health insurance organisation (HIO) should investigate those allegations and activate the control mechanisms for each incident, the Cyprus medical association said in a written statement.

“Under no circumstances can illegal practices by justified or tolerated, wherever they come from, and especially when they potentially tarnish the scientific prestige of the medical community,” the association noted.

The professional doctor organisation was responding to recently published information that some specialist doctors within the national health scheme (Gesy) have been charging patients €25 to prioritise their visit and schedule it earlier.

Condemning any illegal practice, the association reiterated the need to implement a more effective supervisory control mechanism, both for beneficiaries and providers.

Such a policy would be “a deterrent to any illegal practice by anyone under the Gesy,” it said.

But the association also noted that the long waiting lists for a visit at any doctor are concerning and this problem must be resolved immediately.