The number of complaints received at the GESY Service Center amount to an average of 15 per day, according to the Director of the Health Insurance Organization (OAY), Andreas Papakonstantinou. Most of these complaints concern doctors and providers who are registered under the GESY system.
In statements to the Cyprus News Agency, Mr. Papakonstantinou said that the Call Center receives about 20 to 30 thousand calls per month, however, he noted that most of them relate to simple questions, which are given the appropriate guidance.
"On average we have about 15 calls per day, or around 500 per month, that may be of a more serious nature, which are addressed immediately. But this is normal, considering we have about 870 thousand beneficiaries."
There is no Service that we can say with certainty that there is no abuse. And when we say abuse we mean that the resources could be better utilized
According to Mr. Papakonstantinou, the most common complaint that beneficiaries make is when their personal doctor fails to return their call. But these types of complaints are usually resolved at the end of the day, after the doctor has returned the call.
When asked about the OAY system, the Director replied that the system was useful for extracting statistics based on the activities of the registered providers. This, in turn, can be used as an auxilliary tool to assist GESY in rooting out abuses in the system.
When asked about abuses in the GESY system, the Director said, "abuses exist in all the Services of GESY as well as in all the systems of the world".
"There is no Service that we can say with certainty that there is no abuse. And when we say abuse we mean that the resources could be better utilized or there may be a violation of the law and it is something very serious and criminal. "There are many degrees of bad behavior and each case is different," he explained.
Mr. Papakonstantinou continued, "various actions are being taken and we are trying to use the experience we gain by identifying these violations."
"We recognize, that it is a phenomenon that exists and we must manage it. The information that we have through regular checks that are carried out is that there is enough scope to further reduce the issue of abuse. I am not saying that we have reached a satisfactory level. We have a long way to go to reduce abuses," he said.
In cases where an abuse of the system is determined, a maximum fine of 30,000 Euros is in place. But, so far, no such penalty has been imposed.
Mr. Papakonstantinou ended his briefing by clarifying that the Administrative Council has yet to make a decision on the maximum number of patients a doctor can register under his practice. "There is no such suggestion at the moment. "But this is not ruled out in the future," he said.
Finally, when asked about whether a patient is entitled to unregister from a doctor before the six month waiting period is over, the Director stated, "There are cases where a patient may want to leave a doctor and may not have completed the 6 month trial period. In such a case, in order to leave, the doctor must consent ".
"But these cases are rare," he noted.