UK DWP letting Brit expats in Cyprus down on required S1 certificates

Published:  5 Aug at 6 PM
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British pensioners in Cyprus are jumping through hoops to re-register with the island’s new GESY health service.

Until now, British recipients of the UK’s state pension were entitled by means of a reciprocal agreement to Cyprus NHS care. The new Cypriot General Healthcare System (GESY), is its replacement, but Britain’s Department of Work and Pensions is making the already complicated task far harder for many. For the majority of UK expats on the island, their local surgery will be willing to help with explaining the documentation necessary, but copies of the required S1 certificate can only be had from the UK DWP..

Applicants who called the DWP were assured the certificates would be forwarded within three to four weeks of the request. One British retiree, having not received the certificate after three months, called again only to be told that she would soon receive the required documentation. To date, it seems another phone call to the DWP is called for and, in the meantime, the annoyed expat has written to the UK’s Minister of Work and Pensions giving her opinion of the service in spite of the fact she expects no reply.

The new GESY system is being introduced in two stages, the first having started in March this year and now in use. It covers out-of-hospital care, with all pensioners contributing 1.7 per cent of their income, with the second stage due next March and covering in-hospital care at an increased contribution of 2.65 per cent. By the beginning of June 2020, the service will be fully operational and will include A&E and ambulance services, in-patient services, palliative care, preventative dental care, home visits, medical rehab, nursing and midwifery. For the general population, annual charges won’t exceed €150, with children and low-income pensioners contributing half that amount.
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