The Health Insurance Organisation is opening up registrations for the island’s general healthcare system (GHS) on Wednesday, with the first part of the new system due to come into force on June 1.
Complete implementation of the GHS with the introduction of inpatient services, Accident and Emergency Department (A&Es) services, ambulance services, services by nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, palliative care, medical rehabilitation, preventive dental care and home visits will come into force a year later, on June 1, 2020.
HIO general manager Athos Tsinontides told a press conference on Tuesday that the list of personal doctors (GPs) who have joined the GHS will also be on line as from tomorrow so that the public can pick their doctor.
Registrations will remain open. Members of the public are nevertheless encouraged to register so that they can begin receiving primary health care from their personal doctor when the system is launched on June 1.
Beneficiaries are all citizens who are permanent residents in the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus and come under one of the following categories:
• Cypriot citizens
• European citizens who work or hold a permanent residence status in accordance with the provisions of the national legislation
• Third country nationals (non-EU citizens) who hold a permanent residence status or a right of equal treatment in accordance with the provisions of the national legislation
• Members of the families of the above categories in accordance with the provisions of the national legislation
• Refugees and persons with a status of supplementary protection
Beneficiaries have access to healthcare services after they enrol on the GHS and register in a personal doctor’s list of their choice. They can do so either online or by visiting a personal doctor. Personal doctors will be the first contact point of beneficiaries with the GHS and are responsible to provide all required healthcare services as well as to guide and refer the beneficiaries to more specialised healthcare services when and if this is needed. Beneficiaries may choose the specialist doctor, pharmacy, laboratory, hospital or any other private or public healthcare provider they wish.
Beneficiaries will pay small amounts of co-payments upon receiving services by outpatient specialists, laboratories, pharmacies, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, and A&Es such as for example €1 per pharmaceutical product, €1 per laboratory test, €6 per visit to a specialist doctor. It is noted that access to personal doctors and inpatient healthcare is free.
The annual co-payment ceiling per person is:
• General population: €150 | Low-income pensioners: €75 • Recipients of the Guaranteed Minimum Income
benefit: €75 | Children: €75
Contributions to the GHS are as follows: from 1/03/19 to 28/2/2020 and in brackets from 01/03/2020:
Employees 1.70% (2.65%)
Employers: 1.85% (2.90%)
State: 1.65% (4.70%)
Self-employed: 2.55% (4.00%)
Pensioners: 1.70% (2.65%)
Income earners: (interest, rent, dividends etc.) 1.70% (2.65%)
Officials 1.70% (2.65%)
Contributions will be collected by the Social Insurance Services, the Tax Department and the Treasury of the Republic.
Registrations can be made through the GHS website on (www.gesy.org.cy) where beneficiaries must create an account which will be activated on receipt of an email. Once the account is created, beneficiaries must register their personal details. Beneficiaries will then be informed by email that they can register with a specific doctor by sending a request online through the system. They will then be informed if the personal doctor accepts the registration.
Alternatively beneficiaries can pay a visit to their personal doctor who participates the scheme and he/she can register the beneficiary.