Cyprus Mail

Athienou’s four million euro clinic stands unused, minister offers pledges

popi kanari
Health Minister Popi Kanari

Minister of Health Popi Kanari promised to jumpstart the operation of the Athienou medical centre, according to Monday’s announcement by the municipality.

The minister on Saturday visited the two-storey building on which the state spent €4 million, and which, despite having capacity for six doctors and infrastructure to operate as a polyclinic and dental unit, has been underutilised for years.

The minister’s visit came in response to a letter sent by Athienou Mayor Kyriakos Kareklas earlier in the year. Despite the matter going to Parliament, a meeting with the previous health minister, and a string of visits by state health services (Okypy) officials, there had been no progress on the matter, Kareklas said, speaking on Sigma TV at the end of March.

The situation had been ongoing for three years, the mayor said, with the medical centre caught in limbo, having been completed prior to Gesy’s introduction and being under the control of Okypy, which did not have a plan for its use.

The centre is currently staffed by one Gesy public doctor who has a tiny practice there, and a dentist who comes once weekly, the mayor said.

“A paediatrician came once and then said it was preferable for residents to bring the children to her office in Larnaca, following not even being provided a computer for registering patients,” Kareklas said.

It was disappointing that despite promises of specialists being appointed, and the opening of the facility as a vaccination centre during the pandemic, the community was now unable to be served by it, the mayor added.

The announcement issued following the latest meeting, stated that the new minister’s intervention and understanding were promising and that she said she would do everything she could to get the centre fully functional as soon as possible.

Kanari also gave immediate instruction to open the gates during working hours, as keeping them shut made the centre look inhospitable, the announcement continued.

Meanwhile, Athienou’s mayor also raised the need to operate a permanent ambulance station in the community, which the minister promised to take up with the relevant authorities.

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