An overwhelming majority of General Healthcare System (GHS) beneficiaries 82%, have said the level of services offered by the System are very satisfactory while an 80% believe that GHS has improved the quality of their lives.
According to a study conducted by IMR/University of Nicosia organisation, with a sample of 1,500 people registered in GHS from the total 892,100, an 83% are convinced that the introduction of GHS eradicated all inequalities as to the equal access to health services in the past while an 86% firmly believe that the focus of the System is the patient and quality of service.
We are proud for what we have achieved, despite the obstacles and the survey shows that the people acknowledge the benefits (of GHS) and have embraced it. There’s no going back now” Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou said during a press conference by the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) on the occasion of GHS two-year anniversary. The HIO runs GHS.
The survey concluded that in its first two years, GHS managed to respond at an excellent level, to the expectations of citizens, signaling the start of a new era during which health is an utmost priority.
The survey showed that the “free choice of health care providers, the equal treatment of all beneficiaries as well as its social solidarity nature, are ingredients of the system and the beneficiaries realise this through the practical implementation of GHS …”
The survey showed that “the majority of the beneficiaries have benefited from GHS. It is equally important that citizens evaluate positively their GHS experience, meaning all the health care services they have received ".
Equally, beneficiaries have expressed a great level of satisfaction from their relationship with their health care providers.
In his address Health Minister Ioannou said that the GHS has overcome many obstacles in the last two years and has served thousands of people, offering quality and high level of health services.
He said that the society has embraced GHS, acknowledging that there is equal access to all citizens for health and pharmaceutical treatment, without spending huge amounts of money from the family budget. The system aimed at eradicating any inequalities in relation to access to health care services, the Minister added. By pulling down the wall that separated the private with the public health sector the choices are now the same and equal for all beneficiaries, he said, adding in the past, chronic patients whose treatments were expensive many times faced delays in diagnosis and therapy, resulting with deterioration of their health.
HIO President Thomas Antoniou said the results of the survey "are the reward for everyone`s efforts", noting that "there is room for improvement." He said the "the level of satisfaction is very high”, adding that “we will try to improve the remaining 10%.”
HIO General Director Athos Tsinontides said “we have managed to make the impossible, possible”, noting that a new era begins with GHS and the HIP will concentrate on the eight pillars that are summarized in dealing with problems and challenges, improving and upgrading services and tackling abuse ".
According to HIO in the first two years, a total of 892,100 were registered. There are 1,821 Special doctors, 569 personal doctors for adults, 195 personal doctors for children, 149 laboratories, 1,077 other health care professionals, 615 dentists, eight A&E departments, 54 clinics and 554 pharmacies.
A total of 836,000 beneficiaries visited their personal doctors, 660,000 special doctors for diagnostic exams, 685,000 beneficiaries received medication, 604,000 received laboratory services and 81,000 patients were admitted between June 2020-June 2021.
Seventeen thousand patients underwent general surgery, 4,000 patients underwent orthopedic surgery, 6,000 women gave birth either naturally or by caesarean section, 4,500 patients underwent open heart surgery and catheterization and 3,000 oncology patients received inpatient services.
The priorities of the Organization include fighting against abuse by adopting “a series of measures such as more systematic controls, stricter fines, guidance and training for providers of providers”.
He said the main aim is to change the culture to make more prudent use of the services provided and to protect the financial viability of GHS.
Another goal is to strengthen the personal doctor’s role and to improve the services provided by GHS.