The second phase of the General Health Scheme introduced last June comes a step closer to being realised as private hospitals and clinics have come to an initial agreement with the government.
The Association of Private Hospitals (PASIN) has agreed on a memorandum of understanding on how private hospitals are to be financially rewarded for services provided to GHS patients.
The memorandum is to be used as a base of negotiation with individual hospitals, with each private institutions having the last word on whether it will accept to join the scheme and the budget needed.
Private hospitals have agreed to the memorandum on the condition that the government is to provide guarantees overpayment, demanding that legislators approve a law to ensure that both sides keep to their side of the bargain.
PASIN chairman Savvas Kadis said in statements after meeting the state Health Insurance Organisation, that the association is pushing for the government to give the requested financial guarantees.
Kadis said that they are expecting a reply from Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, so that the agreement can be signed on 30 January.
Welcoming the development, the Health Minister said: “This is a very positive development and it will give a significant boost to the next stage, the second and final phase of the General Health System”.
The second phase of the GHS includes inpatient care, completing the scheme which currently covers only outpatient treatments with the assignment of a personal GP.
Ioannou said that the agreement was a result of intensive consultations that preceded it.
“The Memorandum of understanding is a pretty good basis for negotiation with individual clinics and satisfies most of the demands made by PASIN, without leaving the HIO exposed or paving the way for complications within the GHS or its budget,” said Ioannou.
President Nicos Anastasiades also welcomed the initial agreement noting that “the development paves the way for the timely implementation of the GHS, marking the completion of a historic reform for the country”.
“I feel proud because as a result of efforts put forward by the Government and the effective cooperation with the political forces this has become possible to carry out this radical reform whose benefits have already begun to be felt by the citizens, after decades of inaction,” said the President in a written statement.