Protest to have Famagusta ‘Covid’ hospital reopen other departments

Protest to have Famagusta ‘Covid’ hospital reopen other departments

Residents of the Famagusta district held a protest outside the general hospital on Saturday, demanding that various departments start operating again after they were shut down to accommodate coronavirus patients almost exclusively.

 

Residents of the Famagusta district held a protest outside the general hospital on Saturday, demanding that various departments start operating again after they were shut down to accommodate coronavirus patients almost exclusively.

The protest was attended by members of parliament and residents, who are experiencing problems due the closure of other departments in order to deal with coronavirus patients

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

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

Speaking at the protest, main opposition Akel district secretary Chrysanthos Zannettos said: “The health ministry needs to examine the option of operating other departments in other hospitals to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, such as the Larnaca hospital with it new wing.”

He said there were two huge empty wards at the hospital and they could easily be reopened.

Other solutions need to be found to deal with the pandemic, he said.

The protest from Famagusta district residents follows a demonstration by the hospital’s medical staff last week. They said they are 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.

Orthopaedist Dr Nikolaos Vasouris said they propose instead for the general hospitals in each district to deal with their own coronavirus cases, by creating departments.

“During the early coronavirus period, very serious issues arose in the operation of the Famagusta hospital, which resulted in the local community not being served,” he said.

Vasouris said the hospital has always served thousands of patients.

“We, as workers in Famagusta General, believe we dealt with the first phase of this unknown and dangerous virus at it most difficult,” he said.

In a joint statement from all the medical staff addressed to the health minister, the state health services organisation Okypy, and local authorities, the staff called on the health authorities to find another solution to dealing with coronavirus.

The issue is expected to be discussed on Monday between the health minister and community leaders.

 

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