Despite recent improvements at the Athalassa psychiatric hospital, infrastructure problems persist, MPs said on Monday calling for the construction of a modern new unit.
Two more wards of the existing hospital are expected to be renovated in the near future, following the renovation last year of wards 21 and 34.
Members of the House human rights committee visited the hospital on Monday to inspect current conditions and learn about the problems faced.
The Athalassa hospital is the only state psychiatric hospital on the island. MPs, political parties, hospital staff and patients’ relatives have been lamenting for years the sorry state of the building, calling for a new one.
It was built in 1964 and funds for the construction of a new one were removed from the state budget in 2005 due to other priorities.
Head of the state mental health services, Dr Anna Paradisioti, who welcomed the MPs along with acting director of the hospital, Dr Maria Pitta, said that her service submitted to the public works department in the autumn of 2017 the required specifications for the new psychiatric hospital and that she was informed that the project would be outsourced due to the department’s workload.
Two more wards of the existing hospital are to be renovated, she said. The wards in question have a 104-bed capacity and today host 72 patients. The permanent residents of the hospital are 19 men and four women – with the oldest resident being there since 1971.
The gap concerning care for minors with mental health problems, Paradisioti said, had been filled by the inpatient unit created at the Makarios children’s hospital. The unit has eight hospital beds.
MPs said that they would push for a speed up of the procedure for the construction of the new hospital.