The healthcare system of Cyprus is changing with GESY, a full-coverage healthcare program for all citizens. This new system will give people a choice between the services of any physician or other healthcare professional in the private or public sector, regardless of their financial situation. The Health Insurance Organization will pay for all medical and pharmaceutical expenses.
The health system of Cyprus is changing in practice from 1 June 2019. Once it is in place, each personal physician will be entitled to enter up to 2500 patients in his or her list. A personal physician may be a general practitioner, a pediatrician for children under 15 years old, a geriatrician for the over 65s, a physician or other physician who, according to the relevant legislation, has special training in general medical practice By the Medical Council of Cyprus or has a certificate confirming the right to “practice general medical practitioner under the national social security system in Cyprus or other EU Member States”. The PI will have the responsibility to give the first diagnosis and to give the appropriate treatment. In cases where specialised services are needed, the PI will issue a referral for a specialist doctor.
Although in general in the GESY, the beneficiary will be covered by the system only when referred to a specialist physician by the PI, the legislation includes provisions entitling the patient to have direct access to a doctor under certain conditions. In particular, the beneficiaries will have the right of direct access without the provision of a referral by the PI, gynecologists and obstetricians for gynecological issues for women who have reached the age of 15, dentists for preventive dental care and accident departments and Emergency Situations (TAEP). In all other cases, recipients will be able to have direct access to a specialist doctor without a referral, provided that they pay the fee themselves.
Citizens will enjoy health services independent of their financial status, contributing a small percentage of their monthly income to help fund the operation. More specifically, the percentages to be contributed by citizens are: Employees 2.65%, Employers 2.9%, Income 2.65%, Retired 2.65%, Self-employed 4% and State 4.7%.
The voting of the laws of the national health system GESY is a monumental step forward for the National Healthcare System of Cyprus. However, there are several more required for the reform to materialise.