Patients Association Osak on Friday complained of the delay in investigating the case of an elderly woman who died after drinking a cleaning solution while a patient at the Nicosia General Hospital in February 2022.

Police launched an investigation at the time after the woman, aged 81, who was in the Covid ward at the time, drank the toxic liquid from a bottle that was found next to her body.

Authorities suspected that the bottle was left on her bedside table and she may have thought it contained water.

A source cited by Reporter news outlet at the time suggested it was another woman with dementia who had given her the bottle to drink from.

An initial post-mortem did not give an exact cause of death.

Additional samples were taken for scientific examination but nothing has been revealed since. Neither has it been revealed what exactly was in the bottle whether it was bleach or another caustic agent.

Osak, in a joint statement with the Cyprus Third Age Observatory, on Friday said they were “extremely disappointed by the attitude of the state regarding the investigation of incidents of abusive behaviour against elderly patients and the conviction of the guilty.

“We are disappointed because despite the assurances of both [hospitals operator] Okypy and the government that all cases are investigated and measures are taken, this incident reminds us that in Cyprus we know how to hide the dust under the rug,” the statement said.

“How is it possible that after almost a year and a half there is no conclusion from the police and Okypy about an incident that took the life of an elderly woman in a very painful way? How is it possible that the director of the Nicosia general hospital does not, at least, demand to know what exactly has happened?”

The two organisations are demanding the president, the health and justice ministers, the police, the House and Okypy “assume their responsibilities and explain to the Cypriot people why this particular case, as well as many others, have not yet been clarified and the path to justice has not been taken in order to punish the guilty.”

They also called on the president to start a dialogue to deal with the daily problems faced by the elderly in Cyprus, to put a stop to the abuse of the elderly and to stop ageism.