This post was most recently updated on December 13th, 2020
GESY is a comprehensive healthcare system in Cyprus that offers equal access to healthcare services for all citizens, with the option to choose their healthcare provider from both the private and the public sector.
Gesy is a Greek word as “ΓεΣΥ,” and it stands for “Genikó Sýstima Ygeías.” In English, it is called “GHS,” which stands for “General Healthcare System.”
In simple words, GESY was created to provide the equal right to medical care for everyone. Every citizen should have equal access to healthcare services, and that’s Gesy’s main motto.
Today in this article, we will discuss what GESY is, what services it provides, how it works, and many other things. I will sometimes use the word “GESY” and sometimes use “GHS” in the article. Don’t get confused. They are the same.
When was GESY formed?
The original GESY legislation was passed in 2001, but the three government bills and regulations introducing the system were only agreed upon by parliament on 16 June 2017 after prolonged negotiations led by Yiorgos Pamboridis, the health minister. It was fully operational since July 1, 2020.
Who handles Gesy/GHS?
The Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) is a legal entity governed by public law and is responsible for implementing and managing the GESY.
The HIO is a state agency that runs the healthcare system in Cyprus. It administers the funds which pay for the Gesy system.
What are the main features of GESY?
The General Healthcare System (GHS) is a modern, patient-centric healthcare system with the aim of delivering quality healthcare services to beneficiaries.
The main features of the system are:
- Universal coverage of the population
- Equal and equitable treatment of all beneficiaries
- Provision of a comprehensive package of healthcare services
- Freedom of choice of provider by the beneficiaries
- Social reciprocity
How does GESY work in Cyprus?
GESY, unbiasedly provides it’s services to Cypriot citizens. Patients can register themselves with a doctor of their choice and then have the majority of their medical expenses covered. GHS is a unique system that allows individuals to register with a local doctor and then receive expert medical aid from a licensed practitioner.
What does the GESY/GHS cover?
The GHS covers all medical care needs of beneficiaries, including chronic, rare, and serious conditions.
The GHS provides life-long financial protection to all beneficiaries, even for unexpected and costly healthcare needs.
All citizens of the Republic of Cyprus in the following categories are benefited from GESY.
- Cypriot Citizens
- European citizens who work or hold a permanent residence status
- Third Country nationals (Non-EU citizens) who hold a permanent residence status
- Members of families of the above in accordance with legislation
- Refugees and persons with a status of supplementary protection.
How to sign up with GESY?
Signing up with GESY is a very simple process.
In order to enroll in the GESY Beneficiary Registry, the interested party must be registered in the Civil Registry, or the Registry of the Migration Department, and/or the Social Insurance Services.
There are two ways you can sign up with GESY.
- Online Enrollment
- Enrollment by visiting a personal doctor
Signing up Online for GESY
In order to enroll online for GESY, you need to visit the official website of HIO and submit the registration form.
This is what the user registration form looks like:
All the data you submit must be true and without any errors.
Signing up with GESY by visiting a personal doctor
Not all people might have access to the internet or the knowledge of surfing the internet.
They can be enrolled as beneficiaries by visiting a personal doctor of their choice. During their visit, the personal doctor will fill in the application for enrolment in the beneficiary record on behalf of the interested party.
Can I change my personal doctor?
It is noted that beneficiaries over the age of 2 have the right to change their personal doctor provided that a period of six months has elapsed from the date of their registration in the personal doctor list.
Beneficiaries up to the age of 2 have the right to change their personal doctor whenever they wish.
How do beneficiaries have access to healthcare services?
Beneficiaries have access to healthcare services after enrolling in the GHS and registering in a personal doctor’s list of their choice.
Beneficiaries can enroll in the GHS and register with a personal doctor either online or by visiting a personal doctor.
Personal doctors will be the first contact point of beneficiaries with the GHS and are responsible for providing all required healthcare services and guiding and referring the beneficiaries to more specialized healthcare services when and if this is needed.
Beneficiaries may choose the specialist doctor, pharmacy, laboratory, hospital, or any other private or public healthcare provider they wish.
Which healthcare services are covered?
- Healthcare services by personal doctors
- Healthcare services by specialist doctors
- Pharmaceutical products
- Laboratory tests
- Inpatient healthcare services
- Healthcare services in cases of accidents and emergencies
- Ambulance services
- Healthcare services by nurses, midwives, clinical psychologists, clinical dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists
- Preventive dental healthcare services
- Palliative healthcare and medical rehabilitation
Right to choose the hospital
Will I be able to freely choose the hospital from which I want to receive inpatient health care services?
Yes, the main principle of Gesy is the patient’s right to choose the provider of his or her choice freely. However, to provide inpatient care within Gesy, the hospital, as well as the treating physician, must both participate in Gesy. Therefore, before receiving the service, the beneficiary must ensure that these two conditions are met.
How can I contact GHS?
GHS beneficiaries, healthcare providers, and the general public may submit queries and/or complaints to the GHS Contact Centre via the communication channels described below:
- Free call at 17000 when calling from Cyprus, +35722017000 when calling from abroad
- email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- via the GHS website: www.gesy.org.cy
What services does the GHS Contact Centre provide?
The GHS Contact Centre responds to and resolves requests concerning the operation of the GHS, including the following:
- enrolment of beneficiaries to the GHS
- registration of GHS beneficiaries to the personal doctor’s lists
- healthcare Services covered under the GHS
- contributions and co-payments
- healthcare providers enrolment to the GHS and contracting with HIO
- healthcare providers’ reimbursement
- service provision (referrals, pharmaceutical products’ prescriptions, lab orders and visits)
- support procedures for Business Continuity Plan for healthcare providers
- pre-approval requests for healthcare service provision
- use of internet portals and the website
- technical questions regarding the HIO IT System
- general information and clarifications on other GHS relevant matters
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You can watch this video to know better about HIO and GESY/GHS.