Measures have been taken to decongest the Makarios children’s hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit that has seen many hospitalisations since the beginning of the month, the state health services organisation (Okypy) announced on Tuesday.

During a meeting under Okypy CEO Christis Loizides, it was decided to bring in more nurses to the ICU to cover needs that have arise from long-term sick leaves of staff.

The ICU, that has 48 beds, now treats 60 newborns.

Okypy said that since the beginning of October there had been a rise in admissions to the hospital’s neonatal ICU, the only level 3 unit on the island, that receives referrals of premature babies born from 23 weeks and full-term newborns, up to 14 days old, from the private and public sectors, the bases and sometimes the north.

It was also decided to temporarily transfer a doctor from the Limassol general hospital if necessary and purchase additional equipment.

“The medical, nursing and administrative staff of the hospital is making a huge effort to provide quality care for newborns,” Loizides said.

“Our priority remains the safety and health of the children,” he added.

Okypy said that the ICU’s neonatologists are responsible for the Neonatal Department (Level I) of the hospital’s maternity ward with 26 beds, as well as for the resuscitation and stabilisation of full-term and premature newborns, often high-risk pregnancies, in the delivery and operating rooms.