Famagusta hospital will remain Covid facility, health ministry says

Famagusta hospital will remain Covid facility, health ministry says

The health ministry has made clear that until the end of the pandemic, Cyprus needs a reference hospital for Covid-19 patients.

 

The health ministry has made clear that until the end of the pandemic, Cyprus needs a reference hospital for Covid-19 patients.

The ministry was responding to protests in recent weeks at the Famagusta general hospital, the latest on Saturday, calling for closed units at the facility to be reopened to the public.

Saturday’s protest was attended by members of parliament, and residents, who say they are experiencing problems due the closure of other departments in order to deal with coronavirus patients.

The hospital’s paediatric and gynaecological departments are closed, necessitating that patients be taken to other districts or private hospitals for treatment.

As of Saturday, ten Covid patients were being treated at the 100-bed hospital, four of whom are in the high-dependency unit.

Saturday’s protest followed a demonstration by the hospital’s medical staff last week. They said they were understaffed.

The staff also called for the hospital to stop being used as the sole pandemic hospital, and for the other general hospitals to start carrying the weight of coronavirus cases.

The health ministry, in a statement late Saturday said it respected the concerns of both the hospital staff and residents of the district.

“However, it is important to note that, until the end of the pandemic emergency, there needs to be a reference hospital for coronavirus cases,” it said.

“It is equally important for everyone to understand that in order to cope with these difficult and unprecedented conditions, all those involved need to have the necessary patience and understanding, and work together for the protection of public health.”

The ministry said everyone was proud of the work done at the hospital since the outbreak began last March.

It said Cyprus was now facing a new outbreak of cases which was causing an increase in the number of people needing treatment.

Recognising the problems for staff, the ministry said it had already added more. Work on the second and third floors of the hospital were also close to being finished, the ministry said.

“Until the completion of the works at the Famagusta hospital, and in cases where it is not possible to serve patients there, all cases that require medical care are referred either to the Larnaca general hospital or to private hospitals contracted with Gesy.

There is expected to be a meeting on Monday between the health minister and the community leaders in the Famagusta district to discuss the issue further, reports said on Saturday.

 

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