President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday that among the government’s top priorities is providing a solution to the long-standing problems concerning the maintenance of the Athalassa Psychiatric Hospital building.
In his address at a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the renovation of the hospital, Anastasiades said that the government will continue to work for patients to enjoy quality healthcare.
To that end, he said, following a decision last March, work began on the renovation of wards 21 and 34, while the second phase – which is expected to begin soon- will see the renovation of wards 23, 24 and 14. The total cost of the project is €4 million.
“The infrastructure upgrade of the hospital improves the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of care provided to patients, always based on equality and respect for human rights,” he said, adding that at the same time it improved the work environment of the mental health care staff.
Equally important, he said, is the renovation of the hospital’s occupational therapy department which now has ‘properly equipped spaces’ for the assessment and teaching of everyday life activities and implementing innovative programmes based on the principles of sensory integration.
Anastasiades also said that his government has set in motion procedures for the construction of a new psychiatric hospital up to the standards of the World Health Organisation, the Council of Europe and the European Union.
The hospital was built in 1964 and funds for the construction of a new one were removed from the state budget in 2005 due to other priorities.
Staff at the hospital have often protested over the poor state of the infrastructure.