A Bed Coordinator has been appointed at an overcrowded Nicosia General Hospital to help monitor patient flow.
Nicosia General Hospital director Petros Matsas said yesterday the appointment of a coordinator was necessary seeing that the hospital is struggling with a flood of new patients with no extra beds available to accommodate them.
The bed coordinator will help tackle the critical situation at the hospital as currently all of its 457 beds are occupied.
Last week Nicosia General Hospital reached a point of no return as it had to discharge 17 patients on the same day to make room for admissions, some of them involving heart and respiratory cases.
Patients who need to be admitted are being kept in the casualty department due to the lack of beds while dozens more have to wait for hours until a bed is made available.
Matsas said that Cyprus and Greece are the only countries in the EU who do not have a bed management system in place and have to set up it up on their own.
When asked to comment on the fact that one of the hospital’s wings is closed, he said that the space is used for emergencies and in case there is a major disaster. It is also used by doctors of the Royal College of Surgeons and as an examination centre.
He said that even though the wing has an additional 20 beds and its operation could help provide relief to the bed crisis, there is not enough nursing staff for the wing to operate.
He said the weekend surge of patients is a recurring phenomenon and has been the case for some time.
“We had an increase in patients due to respiratory infections - pneumonia, bronchitis and also we had two machines that were out of operation, the CT and MRI scanners and this put extra pressure on our system,” said Matsas.
“This also meant that we could not make the relevant exams so that patients who no longer needed care could be discharged.”
He added that visiting doctors and professors from abroad also visit the hospital to carry out some of the operations that doctors in Cyprus cannot perform. This means more cases that would have been dealt with abroad are now being treated at the hospital resulting in more beds being occupied.