Trevor’s Tips – March 2014
By Trevor Hughes
Please note, clocks go forward one  hour at 0100 on Sunday the 30th March 2014.
There are no Bayram holidays this month.
Read Before You Sign [Inpatient Hospital Care]
The other week one of our readers needed some urgent medical attention at one of the private hospitals in Lefkosa, and was subsequently admitted to this hospital for an emergency operation. At one point it was “touch and go” whether she would make it through the night. However, after some excellent treatment from a highly trained medical team, she was well enough for the hospital to discharge her. But before she was discharged, her husband was presented with the bill, which amounted to 35,000 TL.
The hospital informed them that she [the patient] would not be discharged until the bill had been paid in full!!! Because it was a weekend, full payment could not be made until the following Monday, when the banks reopened.
Both were prepared to leave their passports with the hospital until the following Monday as a gesture of intent, when full payment would be made. This was not sufficient for the hospital which subsequently kept her in for the weekend and was only discharged when the bill was paid the following Monday.
Hospitals are cold blooded [sorry about the pun] businesses here in the TRNC and although they deliver an excellent standard of treatment, at the end of the day they need to make money, or face closure.
The consent form, which the hospital requires you to sign before treatment commences, may have a clause written into it that you cannot leave the hospital until full payment has been made. In this case the hospital was completely within their right to withhold the patient until the amount due was paid in full. When you are required to sign the consent form, if it is written in Turkish and you are not able to read the language, ask for someone to translate it for you so that you know exactly what you are signing up to, including the approximate cost. Otherwise you could be faced with a similar situation. Remember you are entering into a legal and binding contract and therefore you must meet your lawful obligations.
Kamiloglu Hospital, which is located in Girne, has teamed up with Dagli Sigorta and has a staged payment facility in place for in-patient treatment; ask the hospital for full details. They will also tell you the approximate cost of treatment before it starts and discuss with you the preferred method of payment. If the treatment is going to cost more than the original estimation, they will inform you if and when costs increase. This will allow you to budget and seek ways to make payment. The hospital has consent forms written in English which will certainly help, so please request that you are given the English written form. If you are a Dagli Sigorta customer you are eligible for a 15% discount on all treatment received. There are however, other organisations who have 20% discount for their members at the same hospital. But the discount does not cover all their services, unlike for Dagli Sigorta customers who are also benefiting from an annual ECG, blood testing service, blood pressure monitoring, mole examination and a consultation with a GP should it be necessary, which are all free of charge.
The other day I went to one of the 112’s afternoon teas at the Mountain View Hotel, organised by The Friends of the TRNC Emergency Services. On this occasion we were privileged to hear a presentation by Pembe Ibrahim [A.PPL] who works for the Citizens Advice Services Ltd, as a Paralegal Advisor. The main thrust of her presentation was on the subject of Wills. She advised all present that it is essential to have a Will written. Because if you don’t, when you die, your estate will be divided into six equal parts which will be awarded to the first six nearest relatives. This will mean that your husband/wife will only receive one sixth of your estate, which may not be what you want. For those of you that have wisely written a Will, to take time and check its contents. If your Will has been drawn up by a solicitor/advocate and he/she is the executor, in all probability their charge when the Will is being read, will more than likely be anything up to 20% of the value of the Will and could be even higher. You may wish to ask your executor how much he/she will charge, if you feel the percentage charge is excessive, either negotiate a better rate, or have your Will re-written. At least this way ALL your estate will go to the people named in your Will and not to someone else who can legally “cream off” substantial amounts of your money.
If you do decide to have your Will re–written, your executor can be a close friend, family member or even one of the beneficiaries, which is quite legal.
If you have lodged your Will with the Court, and you wish to amend it, take the new Will down to the Registrar’s office, taking with you the paperwork you were given by the Registrar when you first registered your Will, together with your passport. The Registrar will tear up your old Will in front of you, and register your new one. Job done!
What Pembe had to say was met with disbelief and astonishment by some of the audience who consequently sat on the edge of their seats listening intently to what she had to say on the matter. It is alarming how little people know when entering into legal matters and how easy it is to be caught out.
Will writing is only one of the many services the Citizens Advice Cyprus has on offer and they are only too pleased to assist British Citizens with all the necessary help and advice on numerous subjects. They can be found on the Belapais Road, opposite the Belapais island, just up from the Cheshire Home building, or can be contacted on 0392 815 0733 Monday to Friday. The Citizens Advice Cyprus services have an excellent web site, click here which you are encouraged to enter and get a library of useful information at your fingertips. The CAC can also help you to write a Will.
There is a “school” of thought that a Will here is not valid unless you have your land Kocan. This is completely untrue and every person who has tangible assets here should have a Will written and preferably registered at the court, although it is not mandatory to do so! Your Will is active irrespective of your living arrangements
For those of you who have not been to the 112’s afternoon tea at the Mountain View hotel, you get the opportunity to listen to one of many excellent speakers, exquisite sandwiches, a scone with strawberry jam and cream, a couple of pastries and 2 cups of coffee/tea, and all of this for only 12TL. The “teas” also run a raffle to raise money to buy vital hospital equipment.
With effect from 1st March 2014, we will be experiencing a number of price increases on Public fees.
2. Work permits will cost 142TL for six months. 305TL for twelve months and 610TL for a two year permit.
3. Driving licences will cost 200TL for two years, 270TL for three years, 405TL for five years and 670TL for ten years. [Five and 10 year driving licences are for local people only].
3. Road tax has been increased by 9-10% per kilo, depending on the weight of the vehicle.
4. Adding or changing a name on the vehicle log book is now 302TL. When you are buying a motor vehicle, make sure you have all the names on the log book you wish to own the vehicle after you have passed away. It makes it far easier than going to probate and it is free at the time of purchase
The good news is, a cylinder of gas has gone down by 2TL,
Mothering Sunday in the U K is celebrated on March 30th this year and the second Sunday in May for Turkey. Don’t forget to say thank you to your mother on these dates and show her your love and appreciation, by taking her out for a special lunch. The very least you can do is to ring her if she is somewhere else in the world!
Editors note: The opinions, advice or proposals within the article are entirely those of the author and do not, in any way, represent those of Cyprusscene.com.