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Medicine shortages top list of patient complaints about healthcare

Medicine shortages have been the biggest problem for patients during the first nine months of the year, head of the patients’ association (Osak) Marios Kouloumas said on Tuesday.

According to Kouloumas, the observatory of Osak said that the majority of complaints they received from January to September this year referred to medicine shortages.

Observatory official Michaela Marcou said the categories of complaints concern: 43.5 per cent for medicine shortages for treatments, 14 per cent for expenditure, 13 per cent for access to medical care, 13 per cent for the quality of medical services, 10 per cent for the attitude of medical professionals, 6 per cent for negligence, and 0.5 per cent for waiting lists.

Most complaints made about medical professionals related to doctors at hospital or medical centres, which amounted to 35 per cent of these complaints.

Marcou said that 43 per cent of the patients making complaints were aged 51-70, while 34 per cent were aged over 71, some 19 per cent were 31-50, and 4 per cent were 18-30.

She added that some of the medicine shortage problems were related to treatments not covered under the national health scheme (Gesy). “It is a problem that needs to be solved immediately,” she said.

She read out a patient complaint on the matter, who said they were on the ninth day without pills for prostate cancer with bone metastases.

“My agony, anxiety and fear for the future of relapse and worsening continue… The bureaucracy has won again despite the tireless efforts of the staff of the German Oncology Clinic of Limassol!! I, like other patients in my position, live in the anxiety and psychological despair that only you can understand as Osak. I firmly believe that only you have the power and could defeat this beast of bureaucracy so that all patients have unhindered access to the most effective and safest medicine, as you state in the Osak manifesto,” the patient had written the organisation.

Marcou said that this was just one of the many complaints they receive about medicine or treatment shortages that concern private pharmacies, which Osak is in constant contact with the HIO to solve.

Complaints about medicines received by Osak also relate to fluctuations in the prices that citizens are asked to pay to pharmacies, she added.

Osak, she said, prepared a relevant form a few months ago which was distributed in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Association to citizens through pharmacies. “Unfortunately, there is no proper and complete information for citizens who are rightfully protesting,” she said.

Complaints can be filed through the platform on the Osak website at www.cypatient.org  and the procedures have been prepared and recorded in the manual / protocol of the Observatory of Patients’ Rights.

Patients or people who wish to submit their complaint can do so through the free telephone line 1403, by email ([email protected]), in text form, with a letter attached, or the relevant form that is available at their offices, by fax (22 386003), by post and by message on OSAK’s social media (Facebook).

 

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