Thirteen rural Paphos communities have been essentially left without a doctor until the end of the month, as the only medic serving the area has gone on holiday and the general hospital cannot replace him due to staff shortages.
Some 1,600 inhabitants of Asprogia, Stagos Ayios Photios, Ambelitis, Galataria, Koilineia, Pentalia, Axylou, Eledio, Letymbou, Choulou, Kalepia, and Lemona are served by the Panayia health centre whose doctor is on holiday from August 13 until the 31st.
“Once more we are faced with the state’s unequal treatment of the residents of the countryside over the important matter of health,” Panayia community leader Savvas Nicolaou told the Cyprus News Agency.
He said that when he contacted Paphos hospital, which is in charge of the health centre, he was told that due to a shortage of staff it was not possible to send a doctor who would be available every day but one would be sent once a week, every Friday.
“We believe that with this replacement will not serve the sick people in any way,” Nicolaou said. “I wonder if the mountain communities of Paphos are considered third-rate or fourth-rate in this country.”
He also questioned who would be responsible if there was an urgent health incident involving a matter of life or death.
He said that for the past six or seven years, the health centre has not been staffed with two doctors who stayed in Panayia, or villages nearby, overnight to be able to handle an emergency immediately, the community leader told CNA.
Nowadays, there is only one doctor who works office hours and must also tour 12 neighbouring communities.
Nicolaou urged the authorities to consider the seriousness of the matter and to respect the right to health of the rural population.