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Vow to cut waiting at A&E departments

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Health Minister Popι Kanari assured that measures introduced to decongest state hospital Accident and Emergency Departments will bring the desired results.

In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, she said that a foreign expert recommended further improvements, which, in her view, will be launched soon.

The Health Minister said the roadmap of the Health Insurance Organisation includes extending the opening hours of on-call clinics and other health professionals within the General Healthcare System, introducing quality criteria, updating protocols and developing new ones, new innovative medicines and rationalising providers’ reimbursements.

In addition, the roadmap submitted by the State Health Services Organisation includes improving the quality of services offered by the Emergency Departments, the coverage of outpatient clinics with additional specialities to reduce waiting lists and the administrative autonomy of public hospitals.

“It will contribute greatly to the upgrading of the GHS, to the provision of quality services and addressing the distortions that have occurred in the four years of its operation.

“Addressing the issue of waiting lists is based on a multi-level approach concerning SHSO’s contribution to waiting lists in specific specialities; the service of patients through outpatient clinics should be promoted immediately, enabling the organisation to increase its revenue.”

Elaborating on how the waiting lists will be addressed, the Health Minister said the HIO has made public the shortages of doctors in specific specialities to meet the need for doctors from Greece.

On waiting lists observed in other specialities, Dr Kanari said these are due to over-referrals and the fact that patients are not making maximum use of the services offered by personal physicians.

Asked if there is any progress in the decongestion of the Emergency Departments and if it is expected to reinforce them with more staff, the Health Minister said that some measures have started with a specific timetable.

Regarding the measures already implemented and what to expect, she said that nursing staff have been trained to properly screen cases.

At the same time, she said the “fast track” procedure had been implemented at Nicosia General Hospital.

“Instructions have been given so that results of patients’ examinations at the Emergency Departments are sent within 40 minutes.”

“Another very important bill will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval, which will regulate the Licensing, Control and Supervision of Ambulances”.