Serious staff and equipment shortages are recorded in haemodyalisis departments across Cyprus with Paphos General Hospital facing the most serious problem to the detriment of patients’ treatment, MPs heard this week.
The issue was discussed at the House Health Committee with deputies learning that in Paphos patients had their scheduled treatment cancelled quite often.
In the summer the hospital’s haemodyalisis department refused treatment to kidney patients - who happened to be in the area from Cyprus and abroad - due to staff and equipment shortages.
The hospital’s director Spyros Georgiou told MPs that the haemodyalisis department is under enormous pressure during the summer months due to the influx of tourists.
The hospital’s only kidney specialist Lakis Lyioukas said the region’s kidney patients were six in 1992, 13 in 2000 and 46 today.
When the hospital’s kidney specialist is absent he is replaced by a colleague from Limassol or an internal practitioner from the hospital while nurses often have to deal with rising problems without the presence of a doctor.
Health Ministry Medical Services acting director Andreas Georgiou referred to problems in upgrading the hospital’s haemodyalisis unit with another doctor and more nurses. Georgiou noted the Ministry is making plans in order to give emphasis on prevention of kidney problems as the number of patients is on the increase at worrying rates.
The Cyprus Union of Kidney Patients (undergoing heamodyalisis) argued that problems of space, staff and equipment shortages are faced by all state hospitals.
In Nicosia the heamodyalisis department works from 4.30am until 2pm servicing 170 patients.
Plans to upgrade the department have been postponed because of the economic crisis.
In Limassol the department operates from 6am until midnight while in Paralimni where one doctor works only five days a week, emergency cases are dealt with by the emergency department or by Larnaca hospital. Kidney patients charged that one patient died while being transferred from Paralimni Hospital’s emergency unit to Larnaca.
The Health Ministry said that Paphos General Hospital has been upgraded with 12 haemodialysis units.