The way the state health services (Okypy) handled the incident of the naked woman at Limassol general hospital was wrong, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said on Friday.

Speaking to Alpha news, the minister said Okypy handled it badly and “should have immediately apologised to the patient and family. They should have seen what corrective measures they could take,” rather than pursue a line of threats connective to privacy and personal data.

The divisive issue began earlier this week, when doctor Marios Kyriazis snapped a picture of an elderly lady lying at a hospital bed naked. He posted the picture on social media, claiming the woman was yelling for help for around three hours and asking for water.

Okypy hit back saying that things are not as they appear in the photo and that its taking and publication violates the patient’s human rights.

The spokesman Pambos Charilaou said the image was “taken in an instant” and did not reflect the reality of the situation. He also added the picture at Limassol general was taken without the consent of the family.

Kyriazis refuted this saying Okypy was lying in an attempt to save face.

The health minister said it was important to learn how to take criticism as this is what helped improve things.

Meanwhile, the third age observatory condemned practises across the health sector that “bring patients on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown, creating serious issues in offering quality healthcare.”

“Coverups and tolerance mean being complicit.”

The observatory said behaviours from some health professionals in public and private hospitals are unacceptable and derogatory.

It called on the new president and health minister to take action as soon as possible and make the matter a high priority issue.

It also called on patients and their relatives not to be afraid to report any such incidents and fight for their right to quality healthcare and professional attitudes from professionals.