GHS working to get private A&E wards operational

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Health authorities are working around the clock to get private hospitals to operate Accident and Emergency departments as part of the General Healthcare System.

The Health Insurance Organisation is conducting intensive consultations to close pending issues before the summer, including contracting Accident and Emergency departments at private hospitals and introducing innovative medicine.

The most important item on the HIO’s to-do list is to bring the A&E departments at private hospitals to onboard.

The dialogue between the HIO and private hospitals has been ongoing for months.

Negotiations faltered as the two sides failed to see eye to eye on financial compensation for the services of private hospital A&E departments.

A meeting between HIO and private hospitals is scheduled for next week, with authorities pushing for at least one hospital onboard in the capital.

Only the A&E department at Nicosia General caters to emergencies in the capital, with it frequently coming under the spotlight for long waits.

The second item on the list is the change in how private hospitals are to be compensated for services offered through the GHS.

Financial differences have delayed the deal, which officials want to complete, with July now being the new deadline.

Sources close to the procedure are not optimistic about the possibility of a deal anytime soon.

The third major thorn concerns the inclusion of quality criteria for compensation of GPs contracted with the GHS.

HIO proposes that GPs are paid only 70% of fees collected from beneficiaries, while the remaining 30% will be allocated to them based on qualitative criteria.

Currently, GPs receive the whole fee from patient visits.

The HIO is also in consultations with pharmaceutical companies to promote the inclusion of all innovative or unique treatments in the GHS.

Now patients must go through the red tape of the Nominal Requests Committee of the Ministry of Health.

The HIO also wants to include the list of specialists who have yet to join the GHS, such as podiatrists, who were initially scheduled to join in March 2022.