cyprus healthcare system GESY

Healthcare guide for expats in Cyprus

Health is perhaps the most important thing in life. Gandhi once said that “health is the real wealth.” Living as an expat in Cyprus means that you might experience health problems in a country far away from your country of origin. Comprehensive healthcare coverage would minimise risks and stress, ensuring that all problems would be dealt with efficiently. In this blog, we will scrutinise the options of the healthcare system in Cyprus and what expats should do to have the coverage they need.

Is there a public healthcare system in Cyprus?

The answer is, of course, yes, just like in every EU country. There is a public healthcare system similar to the NHS in the UK. In Cyprus, it is called GESY (or GHS), which is the acronym for the national healthcare system. GESY was launched in 2019, after almost 17 years of negotiations in the Cypriot parliament.
According to the GESY website, it is a modern, patient-centric healthcare system with the aim of delivering quality healthcare services to beneficiaries.

Who can enrol in the GESY?

There are several categories of GESY beneficiaries. Below you can see the list:

  • Citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and their dependants
  • EU citizens and their dependants
  • Non-EU citizens who have a permanent residence permit in the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus or have the right to equal treatment in the social insurance sectors and their dependants
  • Refugees and individuals with the status of supplementary protection

How do I enrol in the GESY?

In order to enrol in the GESY Beneficiary Registry, individuals should be registered in the Civil Registry , or the Registry of the Migration Department and/or the Social Insurance Services. There are two ways to enrol: a) online by using the portal or b) by visiting a personal doctor.

Online enrolment

The first step to access the said portal is to create an account via the Health Insurance Organisation website and activate it. Individuals will then be connected to the Beneficiary Portal and can proceed with the enrolment following the relevant instructions. The enrolment process requires that the interested party fills in specific fields in order to be identified in the abovementioned Registries. Additional information such as an address, phone number etc. will be requested.

Enrolment via personal doctor

If you don’t have access to the internet or you are not feeling comfortable completing the process online, you can visit a personal doctor who will do this for you. During the visit, individuals may also complete their registration on the personal doctor list.

It should be noted that full access to GESY services is given when the beneficiary is registered in the list of a personal doctor of their choice. Beneficiaries hold the right to change their personal doctor two times per year. The list of provided services can be found here.

How much are GESY contributions?

The main GESY source of financing is contributions. The GESY contribution is 2.65% of an employee’s gross salary, with the legislation capping the income to €180,000 per year. Employers contribute 2.90% to the salaries of every person employed by them. Pensioners and various income earners have to pay similar contributions as regular employees. Self-employed people are obliged to contribute 4.0% of their gross income to the GESY every month.

How do detached workers get healthcare in Cyprus?

Some expats work in Cyprus as detached workers. A detached worker (or posted workers as they are commonly known) is an individual, employed or self-employed in the UK, that has been sent to work in a European Economic Area (EEA) country for a brief period of time. 

Posted workers can access the Cypriot healthcare system via a GHIC, EHIC or an S-1 form. For more information, it would be best to contact the HMRC’s National Insurance Enquiries’ helpline for non-UK residents.

Who is eligible for an S1 form?

If you are a Cypriot resident receiving a UK State Pension or an exportable benefit from the UK, you may be eligible for state healthcare paid for by the UK.

In addition, if you are a worker on the frontier, you may be eligible to receive an S1 form (someone who works in one country and lives in another).

Can I apply for the S1 form online?

S1 forms can be requested electronically. If you would like to enjoy the benefits of having an S1 form, you can send an email to [email protected] with your request.

In addition, according to the NHS website, you can get an application form for the S1 form provided by the Overseas Healthcare Services

Registering with the GESY with your S1 form

First, you need to register with the GESY using your S1 form. You can sign up for this either online or through your personal doctor.

A Cypriot medical card will be supplied to you when you register. Because of this, you will be able to get public healthcare with the same low co-payments as Cypriot citizens.

Always bring your health insurance card with you to the doctor.

Private healthcare options

Private healthcare services in Cyprus can be accessed by people who have taken out medical insurance policies. Of course, having medical insurance requires the payment of monthly or annual premiums that could weigh on your budget. If you want to make the right choice, we advise getting in touch with insurance experts such as our team of advisers at Holborn Assets, who are fully qualified to help you.

While Cyprus has an above-average healthcare infrastructure, sometimes patients prefer to travel to Israel, Greece or other EU countries where they could receive better treatment. Some insurance policies cover the expenses, so this is one more factor that you should take into consideration.

Replacing the EHIC with a GHIC

The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) allows UK citizens and residents to obtain healthcare at a reduced cost or even for free, replacing the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which provided the same benefits to UK citizens and residents when the UK was a member of the EU.
UK residents, including non-British nationals, can apply for a GHIC using a form on the NHS website. The form includes data such as full name, address, date of birth, National Insurance or NHS number (CHI number for Scotland and Health and Care number for Northern Ireland). Obtaining a GHIC has zero cost.

What does the GHIC cover in Cyprus?

With the GHIC, you’ll have the same access to Cypriot public healthcare as any other Cypriot citizen. It will pay for things like oxygen and kidney dialysis in addition to emergency care and visits to the emergency room, as well as normal medical care and maternity care.

In case of a medical emergency, you can use your GHIC to receive the necessary medical treatment in the EU. A GHIC doesn’t cover treatment from a private provider. It should be noted that a GHIC cannot be used in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

Healthcare in Cyprus and Holborn

Health problems and treatments could affect the life quality of an expat in Cyprus. Being prepared for an unfortunate medical situation is the best solution for you. Our team at Holborn Assets is fully qualified to give you the right piece of advice regarding medical insurance and your options in Cyprus.

With two offices in Limassol and Paphos and more than 50 independent financial advisers, Holborn Assets is the financial services provider you would want to have by your side during your life as an expat. Get in touch with us today!



Is there a national healthcare system in Cyprus?

Launched in 2019, GESY (or GSH) is Cyprus’ national healthcare system.

Who can enrol in the GESY (or GSH)?

You should be able to submit an application for coverage if you are a registered citizen of Cyprus, regardless of whether you were born on the island or somewhere else.

Are visits to doctors totally free if I register for GESY?

Once a person has registered with the GHS or GeSY, they are eligible for free healthcare from general practitioners (GPs) and in-patient facilities.

How can I register for GESY/GHS?

There are two ways to enrol: a) online by using the portal or b) by visiting a personal doctor.

Ready to chat with
a specialist?

Get started

You may also be interested in

cyprus healthcare system GESY

Healthcare guide for expats in Cyprus

Health is perhaps the most important thing in life. Gandhi once said that “health is the real wealth.” Living as an expat in Cyprus means that you might experience health...

Read more
where you should buy property in cyprus

Buying property in Cyprus: Where and why you should invest

Buying property in Cyprus is one of the investment options that expats should think about when moving to the island. Cyprus is one of the most beautiful islands in the...

Read more
Cyprus beach view

Moving to Cyprus from the UK: The Ultimate Guide

Moving to Cyprus from the UK; have you ever thought about that? If you would like to change your lifestyle, live on one of the most beautiful islands in the...

Read more
life insurance cover for different life stages

Life insurance cover for different life stages

“Fun is like life insurance; the older you get, the more it costs” is a popular quote you might find when looking for life insurance cover on the internet. This...

Read more