The cabinet on Wednesday approved the creation of a Supreme Council for Oncology tasked with introducing a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment that aims at offering the most suitable treatment to each patient, Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis said.
The council of ministers, in its last meeting, took a number of decisions concerning cancer patients but also for the extension of the patient referrals programme to the private sector and for the overtime scheme to extend operating hours in state hospitals.
According to Pamboridis, the cabinet approved his proposal for the creation of a Supreme Council for Oncology which will be made up of a number of expert committees. The body will look into the needs of each cancer patient and propose the most suitable treatment.
Decisions were also taken for unifying all oncology services at the Nicosia and Limassol general hospitals and of the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre, also in Nicosia to operate as one unit.
This, he said, was part of plans to “modernise procedures, fully embracing the model of the multidisciplinary approach, which is the modern model for oncological services worldwide”.
Pamboridis said that multidisciplinary committees of experts would be tasked with determining individualised treatments for each cancer patient. He added that all cancer patients would be referred to this council, which will have specialists on hand for different kinds of cancers, which will decide on the appropriate treatment “to save both resources, but also to better target the treatment of each individual”.
The minister also announced that consultations were underway with the newly-established German Oncology Centre based in Limassol to provide services to Limassol and Paphos cancer patients who are currently forced to travel to Nicosia for treatment. Consultations, that are expected to conclude within the coming days, also include referring patients who have to go abroad for certain procedures, like PET/CT scan, Pamboridis said.
The cabinet also approved the extension of the overtime scheme for all surgical specialties in state hospitals to extend operating hours during the afternoons, and incentives for non-surgical specialists to also do overtime work to serve more patients.