By Bejay Browne
POLIS hospital, although under increasing pressure due to a raft of problems, is not about to close, according to the mayor, who said that this is just the rumour mill getting carried away.
Mayor of Polis Chrysochous Angelos Georgiou admitted that the facility is under increasing pressure, in particular in the casualty department, where two doctors have recently left. He said that prior to this, the situation was already intolerable.
He said he has written numerous letters to the ministry of health complaining of a desperate lack of staff and necessary equipment.
He said that one of the doctors serving in the accident and emergency department has now retired and another doctor has moved from this department to the inpatients wards, and no replacement date has been given.
Although the situation is dire, he was quick to quash rumours that the hospital was on the brink of closure, instead saying that the government has made promises to upgrade the facility. However, he noted that, so far, this has not been the case.
“Despite repeated promises made for solving the problems facing the hospital, and assurances that these would be faced with sensitivity and should be resolved, unfortunately we see that the situation is deteriorating,” he told the Cyprus Mail.
He said that as well as doctors which are urgently needed to cover the needs of the A and E department, the hospital is still waiting for the placement of two ambulance drivers, following promises that they would be forthcoming.
The mayor warned that staff shortages are affecting patient treatment and creating hazardous conditions.
“These weaknesses are creating serious problems in the ability to serve patients. Polis hospital serves 12,000 to 13,000 residents of the area and in the summer this multiplies hugely and surpasses 25,000. We have already entered the new summer and tourist season. This increased pressure further aggravates the situation.”
The mayor called on the government to immediately replace the doctors at the casualty department and increase the number of GPs who serve in inpatient wards.
“These are just some of the chronic problems facing our hospital.”
A recent protest meeting saw residents and officials discuss the issues and highlight the gaps and weaknesses at the hospital, said Georgiou.
“We are demanding that doctors who have left be replaced, we also want to see an increase in the number of days where the specialist doctors visit hospital. We also expect the hiring of additional ambulance drivers, and for necessary medical equipment to be installed.”
The mayor said that it is understandable that residents and staff are angered by the situation and that they are reacting strongly.
“I can’t say what format these reaction will take in future, but it will certainly be dynamic. Staff are exhausted and have lost patience with the situation. Solutions should be given to the hospital so that they are be able to offer a satisfactory level of primary health care.”