By Staff Reporter
THE health ministry has hit back at claims that the level of hygiene and cleaning in state hospitals is not up to par.
A source said cleaners in state hospitals are trained and also supervised and inspected very frequently.
He was responding to claims by chairman of the Cyprus Association of Cleaning & Hygiene (CACH) Soteris Papadopoulos that practices at hospitals endanger both patients and visitors.
Papadopoulos said these included the improper disposal of used needles, the cleaning of hospital wards and toilets with the same cloth, the lack of proper training of hospital cleaning staff as well as the entrance of visitors to intensive care units without proper protection.
Papadopoulos said two different citizens reported they found used needles on the floor of a state hospital’s emergency unit. When one of them asked the cleaner to dispose of them, she responded immediately but threw them in the normal bin.
In another case, a mother reported that while in the emergency unit of another state hospital waiting room, her child handed her a used needle he found lying around.
“Cleaners in state hospitals receive no professional training based on EU standards due to lack of funds,” Papadopoulos said.
“Cleaners should be properly trained so that they can follow the right procedures,” he added.
Danger to visitors as well as patients is caused by the entry of visitors into ICUs without any protective gear as this can cause the transfer of bacteria in both directions, Papadopoulos said.
He said his organisation regularly receives complaints about the island’s hospitals. “Today alone we received 14 letters containing complaints,” he said.
CACH was founded in 2011 with the goal of promoting the development of the cleaning profession and to improve its image in the public eye.