Cyprus Mail

Leukaemia patients face growing waiting list in Limassol

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Patients with leukaemia in need of chemotherapy are on a long queue as the haematology department of the Limassol General Hospital has exceeded its capacity, patients’ rights groups said on Wednesday.

As a result, patients are stuck on a waiting list with doctors and hospital management scrambling to find a solution to serve at least the most urgent cases.

Patients have turned to parties and MPs asking for their intervention and a report was filed to the patient watchdog association, Osak.

The Limassol hospital has a total capacity of 14 haematology beds divided into four-bed and two-bed rooms. Under normal circumstances the numbers suffice, however, the need arose to treat several particularly vulnerable cases and these patients needed to be isolated in single rooms under a stricter anti-contamination protocol.

The haematology department’s double rooms were thus converted into single rooms resulting in a shortage of beds for new admissions.  The department also serves patients with various haematological conditions, needing other treatments.

Increasing the number of beds would solve the problem but it would presuppose an analogous increase in qualified nursing staff.

Several attempts have been made by the Limassol hospital management to date to resolve the problem and according to reports the granting of beds from other departments of the hospital is being considered as a stop-gap measure, not however providing a solution for the lack of staff.

“A way has been found to serve the patients who have been waiting for several days, but we must take measures so that a similar situation does not arise again,” health organisation (Okypy) Director for the region, Christos Nicolaou told Philenews.

Nicolaou assured that Okypy was making every effort to resolve the situation and alleviate patient suffering.

For his part, Osak President Charalambos Papadopoulos, demanded that the problem be resolved without delay.

“We cannot see patients with leukaemia [having to] wait to start treatment. We know that doctors […] have not been idle, but we emphasize that this problem must be solved without further delay,” he said.

He added that Osak is monitoring developments and was ready to intervene. Patients have the right to choose their doctor and hospitals which offer the treatment they need, must be equipped to provide it promptly, the patient advocate said.


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