CYPRUS: More doctors are contracted to the General Health Scheme

Cyprus’ Health Insurance Organization (HIO) has started signing up GPs to participate in the country’s landmark General Health Scheme, phase one of which will be implemented as of 1 June.

An HIO official, Maria Kythreotou, quoted by Phileleftheros daily said, doctors are being called in groups to sign their contracts. She said that 70 were called on Tuesday to sign, with 46 signing their contracts within the day. The rest are to follow in groups.

Phileleftheros also reported that a number of doctors participating in the scheme, have told the paper that they have already prepared lists with the details of their patients and are waiting for the platform system to open so that they can submit them.

The HIO expects that the GHS to launch in June with around 1200 registered GPs on board.

HIO’s estimates are based on the fact that there are some 800 doctors in the Public health system who are believed to be on board while 500 private doctors have already registered their interest to sign up for the scheme.

According to the health authorities, some 360 doctors are ready to sign contracts. Of these, the overwhelming majority are currently practicing privately. By 1 June, more than 400 private physicians will join the national health system.

The HIO appears confident that the scheme will launch without having to deal with a shortage in doctors.

Thomas Antoniou, chairman of the HIO said recently if we have a total of 1,300-1,400 doctors on board island-wide, then we will have the basis we need for the GHS to function properly in the first phase of its implementation.

A matter of concern is the low number of pediatricians who have expressed interest in signing on, as just 30 have done so.

The HIO hopes to see the number grow over the next few days as the organization has made improved proposals to pediatricians. It is also expected that 35 public sector pediatricians are to join the scheme.

Source: The Financial Mirror