Patients using public hospitals could potentially face serious problems, as the health insurance organisation (HIO) and state hospital services organisation (Okypy) seem to be at loggerheads over a financial agreement, which needs to be renewed by September 1.

The Okypy spokesman Pambos Charilaou told the Cyprus Mail that they are in constant consultations with the HIO over the matter, which concerns the financial agreement the hospitals, both public and private, have with the HIO for their financing.

“We hope there will be a positive development,” Charilaou said.

According to an earlier report in Philenews, this agreement for the financing of the hospitals needs to be reached before September 1, when the current one will expire.

However, despite the consultations ongoing with the Okypy, an announcement came from the private hospitals association (Pasin) calling on its members to accept the deal and renew their contracts to avoid problems for patients.

“Despite not achieving the ideal result, we believe that the final proposal of the HIO is an improvement over the initial proposal, which was achieved after painstaking and time-consuming negotiations,” the announcement said.

“The central committee recommended to the Pasin members to renew their contracts with the HIO, after each hospital first evaluates its own particularities and data.”

Meanwhile, Okypy and HIO have been unable to hash out an agreement so far.

According to Philenews, during the last meeting between the two organisations, the possibility of signing a temporary three-month contract was discussed which would give them time to reach a final agreement.

The discussion, however, came to nothing as disagreements arose over the terms of the temporary contract.

The contract between the two organisations was not signed due to HIO’s rejection of a proposal by Okypy.

Okypy claims that with the design of the HIO and the new way of calculating the compensation of the Gesy hospitals, its income will be reduced by €40 million.

The organisation currently receives around €220 million per year, while with the new contract Okypy will receive €185 million.

At the same time, Okypy is complaining that the HIO removed the 10 per cent that it had initially included, giving the right to the state hospitals to increase accordingly the amount they would receive for each service they would offer to the beneficiaries of the Gesy.

Okypy claims that this provision was removed from the planning to satisfy the private sector.

The state health services also complained that they want compensation for operational costs of health centres and hospitals in rural areas, covering the needs of thalassaemia patients, operating pharmacies, patients with chronic conditions and operating the neonatal intensive care unit.

The report in Philenews said that similar difficulties had been observed in the past with hospitals waiting until last minute to sign the contracts.