Data submitted by the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) to the House shows that in the first eight months of GHS (Gesy)’s operation, the system recorded a total of 1,606,393 visits to Personal Doctors (PDs), of which 26.92% concern the issuing of a referral for lab tests, Phileleftheros reports.
Lab test referrals have decreased since the enforcement of measures by the HIO in November to tackle abuse of the system, presenting a drop to 47,302 in December, down from 60,966 recorded in November, 68,500 in October and 69,928 in September.
According to the data, total doctor visits to PDs have steadily increased since the implementation of the system on June 1 2019, reaching 246,457 in January 2020 (data up to January 27) from 139,099 in June 2019.
*Available data for January 2020 is up to January 27.
X-ray referrals also show a sharp drop from 21,797 in November to 14,834 in December and 15,727 in January.
Referrals to specialised doctors have also shown a steady increase to reach 95,718 in November, then presented a sharp drop in December to 78,836 to increase again in January to 91,230.
SUSPECTED DISCRIMINATION BY DIAGNOSTIC LABS
In another development, HIO has called on Gesy beneficiaries to report incidents of discrimination by X-ray labs who have been accused by an MP of providing a faster service to patients insured by private insurance companies and to ones who pay themselves for their tests.
HIO said that such practices constitute a breach of contract.
“Providers are not allowed to discriminate against Gesy beneficiaries in favour of patients funded privately or via private insurance companies. Beneficiaries are called to report such incidents, which are subject to fines or termination of contract by law,” HIO said in its announcement.