Cyprus Mail

A&E departments of private hospitals to join Gesy

slide mesa apolloneio

September will see a range of changes in the national health care system (Gesy) with the health insurance organisation (HIO) ready to implement several decisions drawn up in recent months, despite challenges.

The inclusion of the A&E departments of private clinics and hospitals is perhaps the most important change in terms of patient service, followed by a change in the operating hours of outpatient clinics.

In addition, new hospitals are to be incorporated into Gesy while the method of compensation for the system’s hospitals is set to change.

Quality criteria will also be introduced and taken into account when calculating remuneration of personal doctors.

The first private A&E to open its doors to Gesy beneficiaries will be the Ygia Polyclinic in Limassol, starting on September 25, HIO director Andreas Papaconstantinou told Philenews.

The Apollonion hospital in Nicosia’s A&E is also slated to join Gesy, although due to works being carried out, the date has been pushed back to October 1.

The works underway, Papaconstantinou said, are to bring the hospital’s emergency services up to par.

“[The hospital] has proceeded to remodel its facilities in order to offer full emergency services to the beneficiaries of Gesy,” the HIO head said.

Next, the HIO is planning to intensify efforts to secure inclusion of two more A&E departments, to serve the districts of Larnaca and Paphos.

A change in outpatient clinic operating hours will also go into effect as of September 1, which will see opening times reduced by two hours on Saturdays and extended by two hours on Sundays and holidays.

Outpatient clinics will thus operate from 11am to 5pm operate on weekends and holidays.

“The new operating hours […] were drawn up after studying data concerning [patient] traffic throughout the previous year,” and have been readapted to meet beneficiaries’ needs, the HIO head explained.

Meanwhile, a new compensation system for hospitals by the HIO will be implemented in September. Most hospitals have already signed their new contracts with the insurance organisation, while some have scheduled meetings for the next few days.

The large hospitals of Nicosia and one of the large hospitals of Limassol signed the new contracts on Thursday, the daily news source reported.

However, the association of private hospitals (Pasin) has officially informed the HIO that it disagrees with some of the provisions of the new hospital compensation plan. The two parties have been mired in the dispute since the autumn of 2022.

Pasin said earlier in August that, “essentially the HIO demands that the hospitals sign a blank cheque, something which we cannot accept.”

Papaconstantinou said the plan involved compensation in line with budget realities.

“After several months of consultation and many changes […] to satisfy our hospitals, we feel there is no room for any further changes,” he said.

The coverage of costs for certain services offered exclusively by Okypy is one of the main stumbling blocks to appeasing the roughly 70 private hospitals resisting the new plan, with some even having threatened to exit Gesy.


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