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‘Millions wasted’ by gov for road accident care

ambulance-okypy
File photo

There is a serious gap in the law over the cost of treatment in the case of a road accident, the House human rights heard on Monday, as MPs said the burden of the cost now falls on the Health Insurance Organisation (Hio).

Instead, the burden should fall on insurance companies which individuals pay for their vehicle insurance, chairwoman of the parliamentary committee and Akel MP Irene Charalambides said.

This is not the first time deputies have discussed the matter, calling it dysfunctional in the way it operates now.

Independent MP Alexandra Attalides said since Gesy was rolled out, the state has taken up millions of euros in costs, which insurance companies should have footed the bill for, seeing as they are paid for it.

“Once again, due to the poor implementation of the law, citizens are paying for what someone else should have paid.”

Taking advantage of taxpayer’s money

Rather than focusing on Gesy’s services which taxpayers have paid for, money is being ‘wasted’ on paying what insurance companies should have coughed up.

She said the amount is lies in the millions.

ERs and hospitals have covered the costs of road accidents, which insurance firms should have paid for.

“This is taxpayer’s money, which private companies benefited from, because no one took into account that where there is an insurance company, then they should cover the expenses.”

Asked whether it would be passible for the money to be paid back and how far back this should go, Attalides said at least since 2019 when Gesy began.

“When you have a car insurance, this includes one third of the hospital treatment cost of the victim,” Charalambides underlined.

“If it’s full insurance, this also includes the treatment of the driver.”

The MP said this needs to be “regulated in some way, as it is not right for the HIO to cover the entire cost.”

Inching closer to a deal

Both the Hio and insurance companies have been called to negotiate together so as to better share the costs.

So far, talks are moving forward and going well, she told reporters, with a deal close to the horizon.

State health services Okypy shared figures showing there are 1,500 to 2,000 calls per month over road accidents, which reflects a large cost, Charalambides said.

“We were told that the simplest of cases means a €400 cost for each case, at the least.”

Okypy has been asked to present a more detailed cost analysis and will revert in two months to evaluate based on the negotiations between Hio and insurance companies.”

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