Cyprus national health service earns public trust

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Cypriots have given a vote of confidence to the landmark General Healthcare System (GHS) with 850,000 registering since its launch 18 months ago, the state’s Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) said Monday.

HIO, the institution running the health service, said the end of 2020 marked the scheme’s full implementation, with inpatient care and other services such as dentists and physiotherapists coming online.

The HIO called it “a fruitful period from which valuable conclusions can be drawn.”

Since its launch in June 2019, some 853,422 beneficiaries registered with the GHS when choosing their General Practitioner.

During that time, 756,440 beneficiaries have visited their doctor at least once, while 574,007 were sent to a specialist via their GP.

The HIO deals with 20,000 requests for services a day.

Another 606,083 have obtained medication through the GHS, while 523,679 have had lab tests.

With inpatient treatment introduced last June, 343,448 beneficiaries have received inpatient care services, including some 8,800 who underwent general surgery, 2,200 had open-heart surgeries, and 1,400 had surgeries for neurological problems.

A further 500 underwent prostatectomy, while another 1,600 surgeries were performed on cancer patients at hospitals of their choice.

Also, 3,000 new-borns were delivered under the GHS, which also had to cope with coronavirus.

“The GHS has earned the trust of both providers and beneficiaries, as confirmed by the numbers.”

Furthermore, the HIO noted the national health service includes more than 70% of all doctors and 88% of beds in health institutions, both public and private.

In total, 1,745 GPs are registered with the GHS, 541 specialists, 196 paediatricians, 534 pharmacies and 147 laboratories.

A total of 54 public and private hospital are contracted by the GHS, including six emergency departments.

Expressing its content with the rollout of the GHS, HIO said that beneficiaries enjoy equal access to services regardless of their financial status, free choice of healthcare providers, integrated range of health services, primary health care by their GPs and personal electronic medical records.

It reassured that it is carrying out necessary improvements to fix glitches in its computer system.