Around one quarter of the more than 13,000 patients waiting in line for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the public health sector, have already been contacted, permanent secretary of the health ministry Christina Yiannaki said.
The ministry had announced around two weeks ago that it had secured a €1.6m budget to accommodate all the people on the list who have been waiting for months, many even years, to have an MRI at the Nicosia General hospital, where the public sector’s sole MRI scanner is located.
Towards that end, the ministry recruited nine private hospitals, located in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos, to offer MRI scans to the patients on the list. The goal is to have the list cleared by December 10.
Yiannaki said that so far more than 3,000 patients have been notified, but that 900 of them said that they were no longer interested, but gave no reasons as to why they turned the offer down.
When health ministry officials call the patients, they are asked what private hospital they wish to be refereed to, and are given a referral form.
“Around 1,500 patients are visiting the state hospitals to collect the referral forms to the private hospitals,” Yiannaki said.
She added that so far all patients that had been on the list since 2012 and 2013 have been notified, and next it would be the turn of patients added to the list last year.
“A delay is observed in the collection of the referral forms by some people who were notified that their forms are ready, so officials contact them again,” Yiannaki said.
She added that everything was going smoothly.
The ministry, Yiannaki said, was contemplating proceeding with a similar measure for other patient waiting lists but had nothing to announce for the moment.