GESY - Cyprus General Healthcare System
GESY (GHS Cyprus) General Healthcare System for British
As part of a new scheme to provide affordable, effective medical care to all residents of Cyprus, the GESY healthcare system was introduced. Available to anyone that is eligible to call Cyprus their home, it is a unique system that allows individuals to register with a local doctor, and then receive expert medical aid from a licensed practitioner.
With registration now open for all, many British expats have found themselves in a position to negate the need to travel back to the UK for medical care on the NHS, in favour of doing the equivalent but with the GHS instead.
What is the GHS?
The GHS, or General Healthcare System, is a newly incorporated and implemented platform in which patients can register themselves with a doctor of their choice and then have the majority (and sometimes all) of their medical expenses covered. In the United Kingdom, all individuals that are eligible to receive healthcare typically do so via the National Health Service (the NHS).
In Cyprus, up until very recently, the only way to obtain medical care was to pay for it via hospital visitations, check-ups and personal doctors. These days, people are able to sign up to the aforementioned system, allowing them receive medical assistance should they need it and have their costs catered to.
How Does it Work?
It’s fairly simple really – you sign up to the GHS (which can be done online or by printing the relevant forms), submit your application along with all supporting documentation and once approved, you will receive notification and become eligible to receive healthcare. If you are an expat from the United Kingdom, you’ll be pleased to learn that once you’ve registered with The Cyprus Migration Department, you’ll be eligible to apply to enrol for the GESY system.
Can Anyone Apply?
This is where the appeal of relocating to Cyprus can step into the spotlight. If you are a registered citizen of Cyprus (either Cypriot by birth or non-Cypriot), you should be eligible to apply for cover. As a British expat, there are two ways to register for GESY in Cyprus. The first is online as mentioned above, by visiting gesy.org.cy where you’ll be able to create an account. The second is by picking up the relevant forms and filling them in, although this step seems to be overlooked in favour of the digital alternative.
In order to register, you’ll need to be a citizen of Cyprus for all intents and purposes. And there are several ways to do this if you aren’t Cypriot by birth, or if you are not already registered as a permanent resident.
If you are planning on relocating to Cyprus, by purchasing a property with a value of at least €300,000 – you will be automatically eligible to become a registered citizen of the island. This is one of the most appealing options for British people hoping to relocate on a permanent basis, but it’s also possible to obtain residency permission by purchasing a house of that value, even if you don’t live in it all year.
If you are already present in Cyprus, you might have been eligible to apply for residency for some time now. Due to the close relationship between the UK and Cyprus, both sides of the field have agreed to keep their borders open for nationals, regardless of the outcome of Brexit. Although this is yet to be finalised – all officials involved have suggested that this will be the outcome in any event.
As a result, if you have been living in Cyprus for the past 5 years at least, you are automatically eligible to apply for residency. Some people have yet to register, whilst others don’t plan on doing so just yet because the risks are fairly minimal. But by doing so earlier rather than later, you could take advantage of the potential to sign up to GESY and receive treatment for medical ailments, should any arise.
Can You Still Use the NHS?
One of the most common questions that our estate agents are asked, is if those of you that come from the United Kingdom will still be able to undergo treatments and medical assistance from the NHS. In short, the answer is yes. As a British resident living in Cyprus, you will still be able to take full advantage of all benefits that are your given right as a British National; with additional options to undergo Cypriot healthcare should it be required.
Buying a home in Cyprus has never been more appealing and with the two countries looking for even more ways to integrate themselves with one another; there’s never been a better time than now to make the move and live your dream on this beautiful island.