Last year was pivotal for the General Healthcare System, with over 800,000 patients visiting a GP, said the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) that runs the GHS.
“Gradually emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, to which the GHS contributed crucially, the organisation was called upon to face new, equally significant challenges of vital importance”.
Taking stock of 2022, the HIO argued that all markers were positive, with beneficiaries enjoying advantages and benefits.
“The general health scheme, which was universally embraced and supported by the public, proves its dynamism through the numbers recorded yearly.”
In a breakdown of the GHS numbers, the HIO said 801,930 beneficiaries visited personal doctors, and 608,120 visited a specialist.
A total of 667,659 beneficiaries were prescribed medication through the GHS. The system covers 2,100 medications, with more to be added, including innovative pharmaceuticals.
Over half a million beneficiaries (500,075) used the GHS for laboratory tests, 278,911 visited their dentist, and other health professionals served 155,966.
In addition, 122,551 beneficiaries visited Accident and Emergency departments and 105,874 received inpatient care services.
“The Health Insurance Organisation, seeking to shield the System, proceeded with decisive changes and modifications, strengthened controls, introduced new services, strengthened the position of the beneficiaries within the GHS, thus ensuring they receive upgraded services.”
The HIO said it stepped up its controls to limit system abuse by providers and beneficiaries.
The organisation has tweaked the payment model by adopting quality criteria, implementing quality control of referrals from GPs to specialists and modifying beneficiaries’ right to change doctors every 12 months instead of six.
In 2022, three private hospitals, four palliative care centres and two dialysis units joined the system, and weekend clinics were established.
In its statement the HIO did not give details about operations or waiting lists.