Anyone who has medicine at home that they do not need can donate them to the Larnaca Community Medical Centre, as the number of people in need seeking free medical care at the centre, operated by volunteer doctors, has increased.
The centre which opened in September is operated by four General Practitioners, four paediatricians and another four nurses from the state and private sector who have retired and are offering their services for free. The centre is located next to the Larnaca Community market.
One of the doctors, former Director of the Larnaca General Hospital Casualty and Emergency Department Androulla Christodoulidou, told CNA: "Anyone who has medicine at home that they do not need, can bring them to the centre to be used by patients who urgently need them but cannot afford to buy them."
Anyone who wants to donate medicine can do so either at the Larnaca General Hospital or directly to the centre.
Christodoulidou said the medical centre is very well equipped since it has a cardiograph machine to make the necessary first tests for patients.
Also, many pharmaceutical companies provide the centre with free medicine while residents also donate unused medicine that they have at home and no longer need.
However, due to the increased amount of patients there is a shortage of supply.
In cases where a patient needs the expertise of a doctor or needs further treatment then the patient is sent to Larnaca General Hospital or even to a private clinic.
Christodoulidou said those who can benefit from free medical care are those who do not have a medical card at state hospitals; however exceptions are made especially for people who receive food from the community markets.
"Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroutziatis has also asked doctors to provide care to the 15 residents of the municipality's old people's home that are in the same building as the community market," said Christodoulidou.
The medical centre receives about five to six patients a day.
Most are pensioners who cannot afford to pay the fees imposed at hospitals.
She said "even the small fees are a struggle for many people, and regulations should be revised as concerns state hospitals so that at least pensioners are allowed free medical care."
The Community Medical Centre is a joint effort between Larnaca Municipality and the Medical Associations of Larnaca and Famagusta.
The four GPs work on Mondays and Wednesdays and the four paediatricians work on Thursdays and Fridays. Retired doctors work in the mornings, state doctors in the afternoons and private doctors work during their free time at their medical centres or clinics.