06 March 2014 13:06

Limassol General Hospital is in a state of emergency with almost all its wards overflowing and surgeries postponed due to a shortage of beds.
The hospital is being pushed to its limits as occupancy rates over the last few days have exceeded maximum capacity. Hospital chairs, floors and hallways are filled with patients who are waiting to be admitted.  
The situation at the trauma and casualty departments of the Limassol hospital is also "getting out of hand" head of the department Petros Koureas said.
He said there are cases were patients pay the €10 fee to be admitted and in the end they leave due to the fact that they can no longer wait.
"If no solutions are provided, patients who need to be urgently treated will be transferred on stretchers outside of wards and will remain there in hallways until specialist doctors can see them," warned Koureas.
He said that similar incidents recorded at Nicosia General Hospital were "temporary" and that Limassol hospital has a permanent problem with patients waiting at the Emergency Department for 10 to 20 hours before they are admitted.
"We've reached a point where we even have to monitor patients who sit on chairs. Our department has seven examination rooms and five additional rooms that have been set up to help with patient flow.
This means that we now have another 12 beds that are all occupied."
Koureas said that the Health Ministry is aware of this situation that has been occurring on a daily basis for years at the hospital.
"We can no longer blame it on people visiting the Emergency Department "on a whim" because after imposing the €10 fee, patients who come to the department are emergency cases, which are why we have an increase of those who are admitted to wards."
He called on the Health Ministry to finally pay attention to Limassol General Hospital as it serves the needs of almost half of the island and it is unacceptable that it operates with just one Emergency Department that cannot cover the needs of even a normal 24-hour period.  
Expansion of the Limassol General Hospital Emergency Department was proposed in the last few years.
According to the Health Ministry's budget, there was funding of €900,000 for its expansion and involved an increase in the number of beds by 30.
The funding however was used for other purposes.
Koureas said that if the state is not willing to move on with the expansion of the department it should at least create a geriatric centre to provide care to the flood of old people who arrive daily.


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