News Local Auditor General: 'Legislation loopholes favour tax evasion by GHS doctors'

Auditor General: ‘Legislation loopholes favour tax evasion by GHS doctors’

The Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides during a sitting of the House Watchdog Committee yesterday raised concerns about legislation loopholes that GHS doctors could exploit for tax evasion.

In particular, Michaelides said that the system allows doctors the choice to join GHS either as a legal entity, i.e. a company, or a natural one, i.e. an individual.

Since income tax in Cyprus is currently at 20% for companies and 35% for doctors, as natural entities, doctors could be motivated to avoid tax by registering with GHS as companies.

The issue was brought to the attention of the Attorney General’s Office following a complaint it received reporting that many personal and specialised doctors join the system as legal entities.

Michaelides admitted that the practice is legal but recommended regardless to amend the relevant legislation so that doctors are required to sign GHS contracts as natural and not as legal entities (excluding public sector doctors).

He also noted that uncovering tax evasion is challenging because his office cannot access bank accounts or immovable property abroad, albeit constant checks take place in Cyprus.

Athos Tsinontides, Acting General Manager at the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) said that 253 out of 2,000 doctors currently registered with GHS have joined as companies.


The House Watchdog Committee also debated GHS doctors’ excessive remuneration as well as abuse of the system.

Michaelides said that some doctors receive up to €120,000 a month, making reference to a criminal investigation underway against a National Guard ophthalmologist that submitted claims of €16,000 in a single day for 12 cataract surgeries.

Tsinontides said on behalf of HIO that 130 more doctors are under investigation for abusing the system, while the creation of an internal audit department is also being considered.

Read more:

Top Stories

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Monday, 25 January

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Monday, 25 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Parking place Lidl supermarket, Limassol 08:30-16:30 Parking place Sklavenitis supermarket, Germasoyia...

130 new cases, three deaths announced on Sunday

The Health Ministry announced the death of three persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 186,...

-2 C on Troodos Mountain tonight

Tonight the weather will be mainly fine. Winds will be north-westerly to north-easterly, moderate, force 3 Beaufort. The sea will be slight to rough. The temperature...

Health Ministry to examine use of colchicine for COVID-19 patients

Regarding the use of colchicine to patients with COVID-19, due to relevant announcements made in Greece and Canada, the Advisory Committee of the Health...

Expert says lifting of all measures possible by March, if epidemiological figures allow it

Dr Petros Karayiannis, member of the Scientific Committee on the pandemic and Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School has...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...