Cyprus Mail

On-call clinics open, minister lauds new weekend service

Επίσκεψη Υπουργού Υγείας στο Κέντρο Υγείας Λατσιών
Health Minister MIchalis Hadjipantela at the Latsia clinic (CNA)

On-call clinics began operations across the island on Saturday, with Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela expressing great satisfaction about what he called a great achievement.

He was speaking during a visit to Latsia health centre, where one of the on-duty clinics serving Nicosia operates.

“I feel happy and proud we achieved this goal,” he said after touring the facility and speaking to staff.  The minister said he was there to review any issues, saying the first day looked to be going well.

“As I have mentioned several times, we have to give this institution time to work and if there are any problems we will deal with them,” he added.

On-duty clinics will be evaluated on a weekly basis to pinpoint any issues as they arise.

Hadjipantela said a press conference will be held on Monday regarding afternoon surgeries, inviting any doctors who will be part of the on-duty clinics to go to the ministry with any concerns or suggestions.

“I will have the opportunity to speak with all doctors on the front lines and hear about any problems or suggestions they may have for the on-duty clinics”.

The minister told reporters that by around 11.30 am there had been 10 visits to the clinic at Latsia health centre.

“It is a satisfactory number, we expect a bigger response tomorrow and in the following weeks,” he said.

He added that the centre also has a paediatrician on call, who saw two saw two children on Saturday morning, with more appointments expected.

“We want to give the public every opportunity to be informed about [on-duty clinics] and I am certain that with the right information they will soon be more widely embraced, to take pressure off A&E departments”.

He urged the public to choose on-duty clinics over the A&E, clarifying that the clinics can be used by people whose personal doctor is absent, but not for serious incidents.

Anthoula Panagi, a nurse who was on duty at the health centre, explained that if a patient needs to see a doctor on weekends or public holidays, they should contact their personal doctor first.

If their personal doctor is not available, they can call the ministry’s call centre, where they can be referred by phone to an on-duty centre.

A nurse will then evaluate each patient’s condition to ascertain whether they can get a same-day appointment at the centre or whether they need to visit the A&E for emergency medical attention.  Opening hours are Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday and Public Holidays from 3pm to 7pm.

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