LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND HEALTH CARE ENTITLEMENTS
Since June 2019, a General Healthcare System (GESY/GHS) is in effect in Cyprus. The new system provides health care through the concept of a personal general practitioner (GP) in the community who acts as a focal point for referrals to specialized doctors. Health services are provided through a network of private practitioners, diagnostic centers and pharmacies. In-hospital treatment is also provided by some private hospitals that have joined the new health system. Health services are almost exclusively provided under the new health system for the most part of the population in Cyprus (Cypriot nationals, EU citizens, IP beneficiaries).
Recognised Refugees have the same entitlements as Cypriots therefore the same criteria for access to free care apply.
Below are the services provided in the health sector. Click on each one to find out more.
Asylum seekers are entitled to free medical care covering emergency health care and essential treatment of illnesses in public institutions. The Ministry of Health grants all asylum seekers with free access to hospitals, regardless of whether one receives MRC (material reception conditions) by Social Welfare Services. Asylum seekers need to submit an application in order to confirm their residence status and then receive their medical card (valid for 1 year) by post. Asylum seekers are not included in the provisions of GESY. Access to health services for asylum seekers continues under the provisions of the previous system, in which treatments are provided by in-patient and out-patient departments of the public hospitals.
- Letter of confirmation issued by the Asylum Service.
- Copy of Social Insurance Account from the Department of Social Insurance Services or the Citizen Service Centers (for all family members except from children below the age of 18 who are not employed).
- Certified copy of the last tax statement or Income Tax certificate. (for all family members except from children below the age of 18 who are not employed and persons above the age of 70 without any income apart from their old age pension).
- Employer's certificate showing the amount of earnings or a work contract.
Recognized refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection are entitled to healthcare under the same conditions as Cypriot nationals and are eligible to receive healthcare services under the General Health System (GESY/GHS). For more information and to register under the General Health System, please visit the GESY website, which is available in Greek and English.
International protection beneficiaries are included in the new health system GESY/GHS and have access to schemes provided by the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, operating under the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance. In addition, since May 2018, holders of international protection status are granted access to the allowance scheme provided to HIV positive persons.
For more information and requirements on receiving a medical card by the Ministry of Health
THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS
Anyone working in Cyprus, regardless of nationality or residency, must register for social insurance with the District Labour Office. The District Labour Office will in turn issue a medical card. Third country citizens who are legally working and have their ordinary residence in the areas controlled by the Cyprus Government are entitled to healthcare services under the GHS.
All foreign students (University and College students) wishing to study in Cyprus are obliged, by law, to have (private) Health Insurance. Such insurance is a prerequisite for the necessary registration with the Immigration Authorities in Cyprus.
Non-EU students must pay for healthcare. Annual private insurance schemes enable the individual to use private or in some cases public health services where a fee for service applies and then apply for reimbursement to the insurance company.