THE FRIENDS’ Hospice has found a facility in Paphos to enable it to continue its palliative care for the entire region, it said yesterday.
A self-contained wing of six bedrooms has been offered by the Blue Cross Hospital in its St George’s Clinic on Eleftheriou Venizelou Avenue for the hospice’s free-of-charge service to the widespread community. Until sufficient numbers of trained nursing staff are in place to run the entire wing, the facility will probably initially offer three bed spaces to patients, it said.
Nine such nurses will be required to enable the hospice to operate effectively.
“We are delighted with the generous contract offered to us by the Blue Cross company. It will ensure longevity of tenure, enabling us to remain at the wing for at least five years,” says Chris Jones, President of The Friends’ Hospice Foundation. “St George’s will also support us with their own doctors when necessary and will provide our patients with ancillary services such as x-rays at a very reasonable cost.”
Earlier this year, the hospice vacated its dedicated wing at the Evangelismos Hospital.
Subject to the signing of a contract and the fitting-out of the special wing, The Friends’ Hospice hopes to begin operating at St George’s around the end of October.
Dr Andreas G Demetriou, President of the Board of Directors of St George & Blue Cross Private Hospital Ltd., said:”We are very pleased to offer long-term accommodation to The Friends’ Hospice. It has given wonderful and essential service to the wide Paphos community for many years and deserves everyone’s support.”
The Friends’ Hospice needs to recruit additional, part-time doctors and an administration assistant. Volunteers are also wanted for fund-raising to maintain the vital service.
“As well as manning our four charity shops – in Chlorakas, Kato Paphos, Pissouri and Polis – we are asking for people to hold their own events to help fund the hospice,” says Alison Patriarca, the Secretary of the Foundation. “We desperately need people to help us run raffles at previously agreed events, collect donation jars from various venues or just help us in our work in any small way they can.”
The Evangelismos Hospital, where the hospice had previously been housed said it was that it was ‘saddened’ when the hospice decided to close the facility there.
In a statement yesterday they said that the founders had recently regained full control of the hospital from its previous owners.
The hospital was responding to reports when the hospice closed down that the changes in management had altered the hospice’s ability to maintain its palliative care.
“The management wish to stress that when the original contract between the Friends’ Hospice and the previous management expired in April of this year, they were informed by the Hospice that it was unable to afford the €15,000 monthly rent for a fifteen patient facility occupying seven rooms and a nursing station. The rent included all costs (including electricity but excluding medications),” said the statement from Evangelismos.
It said that during initial negotiations with the new management the hospice requested a two room facility for a monthly rental of €2,000 in an unsuitable part of the hospital.
Instead, the management offered a three room, self-contained facility with storage and family area for a monthly rental of €3,000 including a common Nurse station, the hospital said.
“We also discussed with them the possibility of supporting the night shift with common personnel from the hospital. This arrangement, the management felt, would enable the hospice to maintain the first-class palliative care for which it had an enviable reputation,” the statement added.
The hospital said that Dr Nestoras Michael, personally contacted Hygeia Group, head of the Cyprus Church, the ministry of health and Alpha Bank for support and brought all of the information for the Friends’ Hospice to follow up.
“The Management of Evangelismos Hospital was deeply saddened that the Friends’ Hospice rejected the proposal without further negotiation and immediately closed their facility,” added the statement from Evangelismos.
“After supporting and working very closely with the Friends Hospice since 2008, the management remain very disappointed with the outcome and with the incomplete reporting in the media.”
Since its foundation in 2006, the The Friends’ Hospice has provided treatment for more than 750 patients suffering from illnesses for which a cure is no longer possible. Care is offered to everyone, regardless of race or religion.
Its web site is www.paphoshospice.org and the Facebook page is /www.facebook.com/FriendsHospicePaphos
For further information, please contact: Colm Connolly, Press Officer, 99063473.