Cyprus Mail

Hepatology clinic top of health committee agenda


The creation of an adult hepatology clinic was top of the agenda of the parliamentary health committee on Thursday.

A paediatric liver centre already exists, and thus the committee also discussed ways to cover the transition of young adult patient to adult doctors.

Deputies emphasised the need for a clinic to be created and used the meeting to call on health minister Popi Kanari to “do the right thing” in this regard, in conjunction with the “imminent” signing of an agreement with centres of excellence in the United Kingdom.

The agreements are set to be signed during Kanari’s visit to the country on October 5.

The committee’s deputy chairwoman and Disy MP Savia Orphanidou said “a way should be found so that young [liver] transplant recipients receive the medical services they deserve in their adult lives.”

She also hit out at the government and state health services provider Okypy, saying “we asked for answers from Okypy and the health ministry on these issues. We did not get complete answers.”

Additionally, she called for the expansion of the transplant clinic and for the hiring of hepatologists.

Diko MP Panikos Leonidou said “people in some communities … have lost their lives due to the weakness of the system and the deficiencies in care.”

He added that the previous government had “promised” to expand the currently available services at the Nicosia general hospital but “nothing happened”.

Dipa MP Michalis Yiacoumi said there are “many gaps” in care for patients who have undergone liver transplants abroad and return to Cyprus.

“Specialised doctors are needed for liver transplants, separate beds for immunocompromised patients, protocols, as well as training of the nursing staff”, he said.

He added that there are currently 2,200 patients hospitalised at the Makarios hospital.

Also at the meeting, representatives of patients expressed their disappointment at the lack of application of previously made decisions and schedules set out.

Stavros Kyprianou, representative of the Patients’ alliance, said timetables have “not been respected by Okypy or the state.”

He added that patients had been left “dissatisfied and upset” by the committee meeting as they had only heard “general statements without substance and content.”

“We thought that the health minister on her upcoming trip to London would have a specific plan regarding specialisation, the expansion of the transplant clinic, and the creation of protocols”, he said.

He added, “they shouldn’t be discussing the obvious and having patients enter humiliating situations.”

He also called into question the “attitude” of Okypy.

Giannoula Koulla, speaking on behalf of the Prometheus association of liver patients and friends, said “there is no will to support the effort to hire hepatologists and create a hepatology clinic.”

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