Private hospitals are threatening to close shop and walk out of Gesy, as disputes with the health insurance organisation (HIO) have reached new heights, it emerged on Friday.

Mediterranean Hospital, which is a member of the private hospitals association (Pasin), sought to differentiate its stance, saying in a statement it was opposed to the “scaremongering on taking drastic measures, including closing hospitals for a period of time.”

According to HIO chief Andreas Papaconstantinou the heart of the issue lies with the fact that private and state hospitals are compensated differently.

Even though Mediterranean Hospital said it has its own disagreements over the latest HIO proposal for inpatient care compensation, its positions were submitting in writing “thus maintaining an attitude of responsibility and respect for Gesy and its beneficiaries.”

Pasin has stressed the present conditions create an unfair playing field and has asked for both the health minister and president to step in and help resolve the issue.

A day earlier, HIO submitted a proposal to Pasin, and its leader Marios Karaiskakis retorted that they would be returning it back in the same way they received it, during a meeting which took place between the two parties in the afternoon.

He said a deal is supposed to be in place starting September 1, but that does not seem to be edging close to becoming a reality.

Papaconstantinou, explained one suggestion put forth is that the base rate between private and state hospitals is the same, with a 25 per cent margin for additional funds, that can be paid if quality criteria are met.

Kariaskakis was not immediately available for comment.