Medical card holders have just until next Wednesday to renew their registration, the Health Services warned yesterday.
Speaking to the CyBC radio, a services official underlined no extension would be given, noting that by yesterday only 120,000 of the anticipated 180,000 had been renewed.
Reminding the public the cards could be renewed at the four district post offices as well as the Citizen Service Centres, the official noted only public servants would not have to renew their cards.
New regulations came into force regarding the provision of healthcare in public hospitals on August 1 last year.
Medical Cards are now issued to Cypriots and EU citizens residing permanently in Cyprus who fulfil specific income criteria.
These include individuals without dependants whose annual income does not exceed €15,400, members of families whose annual income does not exceed €30,750, increased by €1,700 for each dependant child, and persons suffering from certain types of chronic diseases.
The new regulations include amended criteria for the acquisition of the medical card, the abolition of class "B" beneficiaries, the revision of income criteria, the introduction of new charges for pharmaceuticals and laboratory tests as well as an increase in fees paid for services offered by state medical institutions.
All card holders, including public servants, now pay the sum of €3 for a visit to a General Practitioner and the sum of €6 for a visit to a specialist. In addition, they pay a fee of 50 euro cents for each prescribed pharmaceutical product and for each laboratory test with a maximum charge of €10.
Payment for medicine and laboratory tests are made with the use of "health stamps" that have to be purchased in advance and will be affixed to drugs prescriptions and laboratory tests forms.
Health stamps are available at state hospitals and post offices.
Non beneficiaries (non medical card holders) can still use the services of state hospitals by paying €15 for visiting a general practitioner and €30 for a visit to a specialist.
The Accident and Emergency Departments of state hospitals remain available to everybody. Patients who visit the A&E Departments must pay the sum of €10 regardless of the services they will receive.
Some vulnerable categories of citizens are excluded from the above fee, such as state welfare recipients, soldiers, handicapped and residents of state institutions. For claiming exemption from the above fee a medical card has to be presented.
for more information and to print out an application form for the cards and to find out what accompanying documents are required.