Cyprus’ General Health Scheme (GHS) was enriched on Tuesday as more providers went on stream, including preventive dental care, out-patient treatment for mental health, physiotherapists, speech therapists, clinical psychologists, and clinical dieticians.
In a statement, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said: “This is an important development in the continuous effort to upgrade health services for the beneficiaries of the GHS, which constitutes a great social mandate for our people”.
The Minister argued that data reveals the pioneering GHS has been embraced by the public who make use of its services, as well as the contracted health professionals, who are ever-increasing.
Ioannou said that based on the latest available data from the Health Insurance Organization registered beneficiaries amount to 845,000, while 755,347 made use of the scheme, visiting at least once their GP, while another 550,186 visited a specialist.
Some 307,686 beneficiaries visited a specialist for diagnostic tests.
More than 587,000 beneficiaries received medicines through the GHS while 502,275 underwent laboratory tests.
Those who underwent surgery is close to 30,000.
As of Tuesday, the following health professionals joined the national health service:
Physiotherapists: Outpatients can visit a physiotherapist following referral by specialist doctors or their GP. The GHS will cover a maximum number of sessions, according to the diagnosis made by doctors, with patients paying €10 for each session.
Mental healthcare: Outpatient mental health services include support and treatment for individuals, groups or services at home. Outpatients will be referred by specialists only. Patients will pay €6 per session and allowed a limited number of sessions according to the doctor’s recommendation.
Clinical psychologists: Outpatients can visit a clinical psychologist on the referral of their GP or a specialist. GHS will cover a maximum number of sessions each year, at €10 for each session.
Home care: Upon referral from the patient’s GP or specialist doctor for those who need home care. The GHS will cover a maximum number of home visits per year with each session costing €6.
Clinical dieticians: Outpatient services include nutritional evaluations, diagnosis, interventions, and objectives. Each beneficiary will be entitled to a maximum number of visits at a €10 fee each time.
Speech therapists: Upon referral by a GP or specialist. There will be a ceiling on visits with each session costing €10.
Preventive dental care: Beneficiaries are entitled to having their teeth cleaned once a year. Children will be allowed one check-up a year.