The court's decision to deny the request for non-GESY doctors to continue providing services in GESY-affiliated private hospitals until the case is heard on the 24th of the month changes the facts. On the radio show Diaspora News, the representative of non-GESY doctors, Savvas Kadis, stated that he does not know if the Ministry of Health will issue a new circular granting non-GESY doctors an extension until the court's decision.
According to the Audit Office, "given today's decision by the relevant Court to reject the request for an interim order, we expect that finally, after 2 years of tolerating illegality, the OAI will comply and demand that the in-GESY hospitals comply with the law."
Responding to a reporter's question, Sizopoulos said that the non-GESY doctors should leave immediately and go somewhere else.
"We have highlighted the illegality as of 15.7.2020, as well as the fact that it violated the fundamental principle of the law for a universal system that provides equal treatment to all. Since then, the OAI has bought time by allowing hospitals to have it both ways through a multi-insurance scheme "Odysseas Michaelides, Auditor General, mentioned in his own post.
A new hearing will take place on November 24th
The court set a new hearing date for November 24 to determine whether or not to issue an order suspending the provision that prohibits hospitals contracted with OAI from providing inpatient health care services to GESY beneficiaries by physicians who are not registered with GHC.
Furthermore, as stated by OAS, the Agency's circular on inpatient health care, which imposes the relevant prohibition on contracted hospitals, is in effect, and "therefore the adjustment period and the reasonable period of time given for full compliance has expired."
According to the OAI, the plaintiff, a physician not registered with the GESY, filed a petition for a temporary order in the context of the lawsuit filed against the organization and others, requesting a stay of the said ban pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
"Today, the application for the interim order was set before the Magistrate's Court, where it was decided to give the Agency's legal advisers time to prepare their appeal," the statement continued.
As a result, according to the OIA, the Court has yet to make a decision on whether or not to issue an interim order, and the application has been scheduled for a hearing on November 24, 2022.
"It is clarified that the Agency's Circular on Inpatient Health Care, which prohibits contracted hospitals from providing inpatient health care services to GESY beneficiaries by non-GESY-registered physicians, is in effect," it adds.
Finally, the OAI states that it is "committed to its work and to preserving the GESY's philosophy and social character."
The lawyer for non-GESY doctors clarifies
On behalf of the non-GESY doctors, lawyer Christos Triantafyllidis issued a statement, claiming that a publication "circulating in the form of a post" regarding the request to suspend the provision of the Law that prohibits inpatient care when a patient is referred by a non-GESY doctor who is in a hospital within the GESY was rejected by the court on Thursday was "completely inaccurate and unsubstantiated."
"On 03/11/2022, after the OAI informed the court that it objected to the issuance of such an order, the court directed that the objection be entered in writing and scheduled a hearing on the petition for an order for 24/11/2022. As a result, the application for issuance of a decree is still pending before the court," it concluded.
According to Sizopoulos, the ruling vindicates the Republic of Cyprus
Mr. Sizopoulos said in Parliament today that the Court's decision, which removes all doctors who are not contracted to the system from GESY hospitals beginning tomorrow, vindicates the EDEK Party, which, he noted, "from the very beginning had indicated that the memorandum, which was signed in February 2020, for the inclusion of private hospitals in the GESY by the OAI, had provisions that were contrary to the existing legislation."
"This was essentially confirmed by the state's Legal Service opinion in September 2021, which was made after the well-known request of the EDEK Party that in order to vote on the budgets, this legal opinion should be included as a provision and proposal," he said.
According to Marinos Sizopoulos, the EDEK Party believes that immediate compliance with the textual legislation is required by the relevant departments - both the state and the OAI.
"It is truly unthinkable and unacceptable," he said, "that in a legal regime like the Republic of Cyprus, the Legal Service has indicated the illegality of the specific memorandum contract since September 2015, and yet no one is interested in the immediate restoration of legality."
Sizopoulos responded to a reporter's question by saying that non-GESY doctors should leave immediately and go somewhere else.
"It is not possible to have it both ways at the same time - as we have indicated many times - to serve two types of patients, namely the beneficiaries who will have immediate service and many times outside the single-insurance system, but also the in-patients, who basically do not have the financial capacity or possibly the insurance coverage from private insurance companies to wait for one, two, and three months until they receive the necessary care," he added.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]