Cyprus Mail

Public hospitals under strain

Ιατρικό και νοσηλευτικό προσωπικό στον αγώνα κατά του κορωνοϊού, Γενικό Νοσοκομείο Λευκωσίας 31 Μαρτίου 2020.

Larnaca general hospital is still having difficulty finding anaesthesiologists to cover the shifts, putting patients’ lives at risk, MPs heard on Thursday.

Executive director for Larnaca and Famagusta hospitals Giorgos Karotsakis said the hospital has a shortage of anaesthesiologists and it was hard to find new ones to hire. The hospital currently employs four, but it needs two more to cover the work effectively.

One had been sent from Makarios hospital, but he has since returned.

Karotsakis said there were also cooperation problems between the existing ones.

Larnaca and Famagusta medical director Amalia Hadjiyianni said last Friday, anaesthesiologists decided to clock off at 3pm and there was none in when a serious incident came up.

One was called in to handle the incident and since then he stayed on duty for four days.

The problem with Larnaca’s lack of anaesthesiologists was among a number of issues heard before the House health committee, including staffing, administration, and the operation of clinics.

The health ministry’s director of medical services, Elisavet Constantinou, assured MPs that the budget included more funds for medical staff remuneration as well as upgrading equipment and buildings.

She said it is the biggest ever approved at 10 per cent of the state budget.

The chairman of the government health services organisation (Okypy) conceded there were many problems that needed to be resolved. He said a lot of problems emerged after many doctors left the public sector to join the health system in a private capacity, but the flight has now stopped.

Okypy executive director Christis Loizides said a new ICU must be constructed in Limassol while Larnaca hospital needed some upgrades.

In Nicosia’s Makarios hospital, procedures have started on the children’s A&E and there was also a need for a new thalassemia centre as well as improvements in the neonatal clinic.

The process of getting a new dialysis unit in Paphos could start before the end of the year.

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