News Local GHS Phase Two gets underway with 85% of island's doctors on board

GHS Phase Two gets underway with 85% of island’s doctors on board

Phase Two of GHS (Gesy) that incorporates inpatient services to the reform has begun as of today, June 1, with 85% of Cyprus’ doctors on board the scheme as well as 75% of hospital beds and nearly 100% of clinical labs and pharmacies, Phileleftheros reports.

Gesy issued an announcement on Sunday evening ahead of today’s launch saying that “despite the adverse circumstances brought about by the pandemic, we are expanding the services to beneficiaries…with more than 40 private hospitals joining the system. With the incorporation of inpatient healthcare by public and private hospitals, we will cover the most important and urgent needs of beneficiaries while limiting one of the primary sources of social inequality.”

Gesy went on to ask for citizens’ understanding, especially in the initial stages of implementation of Phase Two, “because like in Phase One, it makes sense that problems will arise in the initial stages of the reform, especially at a time when the pandemic posed a particular challenge to efforts for the smooth incorporation of inpatient care and exacerbated issues stemming from the piling up of needs either from traditional waiting lists or postponed surgeries.”

The organisation assured, however, that it will be on high alert to resolve any problems that arise the soonest possible.

It also reminded that the joining of all other services other than inpatient care that were initially intended to be part of Phase Two are pushed back to a later stage.

“Efforts are ongoing for the incorporation of the services of clinical dietitians, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, midwives, home care, palliative care, preventive dentistry and medical rehabilitation, in order to complete the original planning to fully implement GHS,” the announcement noted.

It was also clarified that until GHS is fully implemented, beneficiaries will continue receiving A&E services from Okypy’s public hospitals.

Speaking to Phileleftheros on the start of Phase Two, Chairman of Health Insurance Organisation (Oay) Thomas Antoniou urged beneficiaries to not rush to schedule surgeries from the very start. “This will help us handle the truly urgent cases and to better organise the hospitals themselves. Let’s not forget that in the two previous months, private and public hospitals had suspended their surgeries due to the pandemic, and we also have the scheduled surgeries and any emergencies that will come up,” Antoniou explained.

“We also need to bear in mind that hospitals are still operating below capacity because a percentage of beds need to remain vacant in case there is a resurgence of Coronavirus cases. Therefore, we all need to be prepared for the problems that will arise and give the system time to stabilise,” he added.

Surgeries and overnight stays

As of today, Phileleftheros explains, GHS beneficiaries have access to inpatient care that includes surgeries as well as hospitalisation at any of the System’s hospitals.

Inpatient healthcare services include:

  • Surgery wards (of all medical specialisations)
  • Pathology
  • Radiodiagnosis
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Diagnostic labs
  • Intensive Care Unit

Beneficiaries also have access to inpatient services that do not require an overnight stay at the hospital (a relevant list of the services will be published on Gesy’s website).

Beneficiaries can obtain access to inpatient services from a hospital of their choice through a referral by another healthcare service provider like:

  • a specialist doctor
  • another hospital: in the case where it is deemed necessary to transfer a beneficiary from a hospital where he is receiving inpatient services to another hospital for various reasons, like the absence of specialisation/equipment, then the hospital issues together with the beneficiary’s discharge document a referral to another hospital that will admit the patient.

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