Cyprus has been ranked by the World Health Organization as one of the healthiest countries in the Mediterranean. Cyprus presents a long life span (78 years of age for men and 81 years of age for women) mainly due to the island healthy environmental conditions, the mild climate, the rather stress-free way of living as well as the advanced medical treatment offered. In fact Cyprus enjoys a developed health system, consisting of two sectors: the public and the private one, both of which are under the administration of the Ministry of Health ensuring that high quality medical care is provided to the citizens.
PUBLIC MEDICAL TREATMENT
Mainly financed by the state budget, medical care is provided in Cyprus by the following institutions:
7 district hospitals
- the Makarion Hospital, a pediatric/ gynecological hospital located in Nicosia,
- 25 small rural hospitals and health centers, along with 230 sub-centers with a touring medical team.
- The Oncology Centre of Bank of Cyprus for people diagnosed with cancer and blood diseases
The Ministry of Health is responsible for the organization, administration and regulation of these institutions which offer specialists’ services, diagnostic tests, paramedical services, emergency services, hospital care, pharmaceutical care, dental care, rehabilitation and home care. In certain cases the Ministry of Health may provide funding for special treatment abroad under specific conditions and terms.
COSTS IN PUBLIC CYPRUS HOSPITALS
The Accident and Emergency Departments of all public hospitals are available to everybody whether a holder of a medical card or not. Patients visiting the Accident and Emergency Department pay the amount of € 10, 00 regardless of the kind of services they may receive.
As a rule Medical Cards are issued to Cypriots and to EU citizens who reside permanently in Cyprus but who had participated in social insurance programs in their homeland prior to moving to Cyprus.
A medical card is also issued for people suffering from a chronic disease (like cancer or blood diseases if their annual family income does not exceed €150,000.00.
Mostly financed by out-of-pocket payments, but still under the inspection regulations and licensing of the Ministry of Health, medical services are provided by high quality private hospitals, polyclinics, diagnostic centers, pharmacies and independent practitioners. These include but are not limited to:
- the American Heart Hospital in Nicosia
- Evangelismos Hospital in Nicosia
- Hippocrateon Private Hospital in Nicosia
- the Ygia Polyclinic in Limassol,
- the Mediterranean Hospital in Limassol
- Iasis Hospital in Paphos,etc
SOCIAL INSURANCE SERVICES
According to the current Social Insurance Scheme, imposed on 6/10/1980, every employee in Cyprus (whether employed or self-employed) as well as any person working abroad for a Cypriot employee is compulsorily insured under the Social Insurance Scheme. The current Social Insurance Scheme is financed through contributions paid by the employers, by the insured persons and by a percentage on the insurable earnings paid by the State.
PRIVATE INSURANCES IN CYPRUS
The cost of policy increases with the age of the insured person.
The process of expenses reimbursement by insurance companies is usually the following:
- For in-patient treatment the clinic and the insurance company interact without the patient’s participation. The clinic sends the relevant for the administered treatment invoice to the insurance company, the invoice is examined by the insurance company and the due amount is then paid directly to the clinic.
- As regards out-patient treatment, an insured person who has visited a doctor or a clinic pays the relevant amount (ranging from approximately €50 to €100 if the doctor has used certain medical devices). In case the doctor prescribes certain medication, the patient pays for this too and then submits both the receipt for the doctor fees a copy of the doctor’s prescription and the receipt from the drugstore along with a medical case report drawn by the doctor to the insurance company. Upon verification the latter will reimburse the incurred expenses to the patient.
- It should be mentioned that only a percentage of the medical expenses is covered by insurance companies. Any expenses for dental and beauty treatment as well as vision correction etc. are not insured. Treatment of chronic diseases pre-existing the creation of any insurance policy are not subject to insurance coverage either.
- Cyprus Healthcare is currently moving towards the implementation of a General Health Insurance System (GHIS). This system receiving funding from compulsory health insurance contributions of all citizens will provide comprehensive medical care to all the population at all levels of healthcare, while it will be characterized by efficiency and a high standards of services provided.