Gesy hurdles will be overcome, says health minister
Any major reform faces complications and implementing the national health scheme (Gesy) on 1 June is no exception, the Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Monday,
Speaking at the village of Liopetri where a memorial ceremony was being held for the fallen Eoka fighter Modestos Panteli, Ioannou said that any hurdles can be solved with good will and determination.
“The government’s aim in view of the implementation of the scheme, is its continuous improvement so that the Cypriot public can enjoy the healthcare it deserves,” Ioannou said, adding such a scheme is currently lacking.
“We are the only country without a health scheme,” he said.
Ioannou said that the public can expect to begin reaping the benefits of the scheme from the first day of its implementation on 1 June.
Ioannou said there had been no public opposition to the Gesy contribution which was deducted from salaries starting on March 1.
“The public is expecting Gesy and its implementation.”
Ioannou added that Gesy “will aid all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and we are impatiently awaiting its implementation on June 1”.
He denied reports that Gesy would overburden the economy.
“It has been explained multiple times that there is no such possibility due to the structure of the scheme,” he said.
“The law determines the total budget and this implies that only what is received through public contributions will be spent. More than what is received cannot be spent, overwise deficits will possibly be created leading to problems.”
By the time the Gesy is in full swing with inpatient care, scheduled for June 1, 2020, Ioannou said that public contributions are expected to amount to €1billion.
“And this is the amount that has been calculated for expenditure.”
From March 1, employees began contributing 1.7 per cent of their wages with employers contributing 1.85 per cent of each employee’s wages. The self-employed will contribute 2.55 per cent of their insurable income. From March 2020, ahead of the full implementation of Gesy in June, these percentages will increase to 2.65 per cent for employees, 2.90 per cent for employers and 4 per cent for the self-employed.