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General Healthcare System and Private Insurance

The General Healthcare System (GHS), also known as GESY, is an independent insurance fund in Cyprus. It enables clinics, private doctors, pharmacists, laboratories, microbiological laboratories, and physiotherapists to provide medical care to permanent residents of Cyprus who contribute to this fund. Here are some key points about GHS:

  1. Coverage Phases:

    • The first phase of GHS, implemented in June 2019, covered out-patient care expenses such as medicines, laboratory tests, and imaging tests (scans, x-rays, CTs, MRIs).
    • The second phase, fully implemented in 2020, extended coverage to inpatient care and rehabilitation treatment (including operations, pre-operative expenses, medicines, and physiotherapies).
    • Physiotherapists and dentists joined the system in January 2021.
    • While most clinics and doctors participate in GESY, a few have not joined due to concerns about service quality and patient satisfaction.

 

  1. Principles of GHS:

    • Accessible: Beneficiaries can choose any GHS-affiliated clinic or doctor. However, private doctors may prioritize patients with private insurance due to higher payments for the same services.
    • Universal: Designed to cover all residents.
    • Comprehensive: Aims to provide a wide range of medical services.

 

   2. Private Insurance:

    • Private insurance for inpatient care serves as a supplementary tool, allowing immediate domestic medical care and flexibility for seeking treatment abroad.
    • Maria Konias  Insurance recommends retaining private insurance contracts alongside GHS coverage.
 

GeSY (Greek: Γενικό Σύστημα Υγείας (ΓεΣΥ), Genikó Sýstima Ygeías, English: General Healthcare System, GHS) is the universal health insurance system of Cyprus established in 2017 when three government bills and regulations were agreed by parliament after prolonged negotiation led by Health minister Yiorgos Pamboridis. 

In November 2022 the Cyprus Association of Research and Development Pharmaceutical Companies organised a conference entitled A New Era for Health Care in Cyprus: Embrace, Evaluate, Evolve to review the steps and achievements in the three years since the introduction of GESY.[3]

The original GeSY legislation was passed in 2001, but the three government bills and regulations introducing the system were only agreed by parliament on 16 June 2017 after prolonged negotiations led by Yiorgos Pamboridis, the health minister. It is to be fully operational by July 1, 2020.[4]

The running of these service is in the hands of the Health Insurance Organisation.

Costs:

From 1 March 2019 the scheme will cover out-of-hospital care. Employees and pensioners, income-earners will have to contribute 1.7% of their income, employers 1.85%, the state 1.65%, and self-employed people 2.55%. From 1 March 2020 it will include hospital care, and contributions will rise to 2.65% for employees, 2.9% for employers, 4.7% from the state , and 4% for the self-employed. There are co-payments which are capped at €300 per year for patients and €75 per year for low-pension earners and recipients of Guaranteed Minimum Income.[5]

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