News Local 143,000 doctors' visits in first month of general health scheme

143,000 doctors’ visits in first month of general health scheme

One in four of those who registered with the general health scheme (GHS) used it during the first month of operation, according to figures published by Phileleftheros on Monday.

The GHS started operation on June 1. Within the first month, a total of 621,000 beneficiaries had signed on while some 143,000 visits to doctors were recorded on the GHS’ software.

Of the 143,000 visits the vast majority (130,585)  were to general doctors and the remainder to specialist doctors.

Doctors issued 118,231 prescriptions of which 87,618 were processed at GHS member pharmacies.

Doctors also signed 91,182 referrals for lab tests, of which 41,488 were carried out in labs members of the GHS.

In the same one month period there were 5,609 X rays at GHS centres.

Philelefheros said there is continued steady inflow of doctors joining the GHS. By the end of June there were 612 specialist doctors, of whom 188 were in the private sector and the remainder state doctors. Numbers are expected to rise in the next few days as there are a number of contracts awaiting signature while Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre doctors have still not signed up because of a technical glitch it in the centre’s IT.

A total of 378 general doctors have signed up as have 118 paediatricians. Moreover, 476 private pharmacies and 146 clinical labs are now members of the GHS.

Andreas Papaconstantinou, deputy director of the Health Insurance Organisation said that overall, the verdict on the first month of operation of the GHS was positive. He acknowledged that problems did arise but said these were fewer and smaller than anticipated given the radical reform introduced.

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