The village of Louroujina currently has no ambulance service coverage, the north’s former ‘health minister’ Filiz Besim said on Wednesday.

Besim said that due to the closure of the ambulance unit at Ercan (Tymbou) airport, the villages south of the airport, the most populous of which is Louroujina, are now not covered at all by the north’s ambulance service.

She added that the north’s ambulance service is “becoming weaker day by day”, going on to list several other problems the service currently faces.

She said retiring ambulance drivers are currently not being replaced by anyone, leading to a reduction in the service’s workforce.

“There has been no ambulance driver training offered since 2019,” she said, adding that paramedics and other healthcare professionals working for the ambulance service have “not been trained for a long time”.

She added that the ambulances currently in service are “old”, and that they are “used in jobs where they should not be used, such as for transferring discharged patients and for transporting dialysis patients.”

Additionally, she said there is no permanent doctor in the north’s ambulance command centre, saying “this matter is very important for the correct direction of patient referrals.”

She warned that the north’s ambulance service “was established in this country with great effort,” and urged the ‘government’ to step in.