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Efforts to improve waiting lists in hospitals underway, health minister says

Õðïõñãüò Õãåßáò Ðüðç ÊáíÜñç
Health Minister Popi Kanari

Health Minister Popι Kanari assured on Sunday that measures to decongest A&E departments in government hospitals will be effective in bringing in the desired results.

In an interview to the Cyprus News Agency, Kanari explained that a foreign expert recommended further improvements, which will be launched in the near future.

With regard to the content of the roadmaps her ministry has delivered to the president aimed at addressing distortions and abuses, Kanari said where the Health Insurance Organisation (Hio) is concerned, proposals include the extension of the opening hours of on-call clinics, the inclusion of additional groups of health professionals within Gesy, the introduction of quality criteria, the updating of protocols and the development of new ones, the inclusion of new innovative medicines in Gesy pharmaceutical products list and the rationalisation of providers’ reimbursements.

Additionally, the roadmap for the state health services (Okypy), includes monitoring the building upgrade projects included in the Recovery and Resilience Plan, the immediate implementation of decisions concerning the improvement of the quality of services offered by the emergency departments, the coverage of outpatient clinics with additional specialties to reduce waiting lists and the issue of the administrative autonomy of public hospitals, such as the further utilization of existing services.

She said she believes that the implementation of what has been included in the roadmaps “will contribute greatly to the upgrading of the Gesy, to the provision of quality services and to addressing the distortions that have occurred in the four years of its operation.”

Elaborating on the ways in which the waiting lists will be addressed, the health minister noted that the HIO is seeking out doctors from Greece for specific specialisations of which there are shortages in.

Regarding the waiting lists observed in other specialties, Kanari said that these are estimated to be due to over-referrals, as well as the fact that patients are not making maximum use of the services offered by personal physicians.

Asked if there is any progress in relation to the decongestion of the Emergency Departments and if it is expected to reinforce them with medical staff in the coming period, the health minister said that some measures have started to be implemented with a specific timetable, noting that within the coming days it is expected that the Emergency Departments, where there are shortages, will be staffed with doctors.

Regarding the measures already implemented and what to expect in the next period, she said that nursing staff have been trained for the proper screening of cases. At the same time, she said that the “fast track” procedure has been implemented at the Nicosia General Hospital.

According to the Minister of Health, “instructions have been given so that the results of patients’ examinations at the Emergency Departments are sent within 40 minutes.”

Kanari also announced that within the next week, “another very important bill will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval, which will regulate the Licensing, Control and Supervision of Ambulances”.  She also noted that in July there will be final meetings with the unions, doctors and all stakeholders in order to move forward with the bill on the establishment of university hospitals.

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