By Poly Pantelides
THE DIRECTOR of Larnaca General Hospital has appealed to the town planning department to issue the necessary permission to move forward the hospital’s desperately needed expansion project.
Evangelos Evangelou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) yesterday that a necessary expansion project for the hospital, which first opened its doors in 1984, is currently stalled at the town planning stage with the plans submitted by the company assigned the €20 million contract still pending approval.
“There seems to be some problem with town planning in relation to the hospital’s parking facilities,” Evangelou said. “I’m sure that if the contractor is given even a verbal go-ahead, they will be able to begin works at once.”
It is understood that town planning wants more car park spaces than provided for in the company’s application.
Evangelou said there have been thoughts to create a multi-storey car park with a view for future expansion as necessary.
A new building is due to be constructed on the same site and to the west of the hospital, to be connected with the main site via two closed bridges.
The company has already started using that space, which up until now was used for parking, Evangelou said. As a consequence, there is less space for cars to park. The nearby Ayios Georgios church has offered its own car park for use by staff and visitors while visitors have also been making use of empty plots and fields, Evangelou said. He asked the municipality’s traffic wardens to show understanding to visitors who often end up parking on pavements.
But he added that the expansion of the hospital will help alleviate serious problems to do with the lack of space and will create a better working environment for the hospital itself.
Under the contract worth about €20m plus VAT, the contractor must design and construct a new four-floor building in the hospital grounds within the next three years, which will have the capacity to have another four floors added on in the future. The contractor also has to provide maintenance for the first 12 years of the building.
The original Larnaca general hospital was first opened in October 1984, built on land donated by the Saint George Committee and funds provided by the United States.
The expansion project will create an additional 19,700 square metres to accommodate, among other facilities, a pharmacy, a dialysis unit and a blood bank, outpatient clinics, and a physiotherapy department. The project’s foundation stone was laid in February.