President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, stated on Sunday that the goal is to provide citizens with fair and equal access to quality health services.
Speaking at the inauguration of projects at the Famagusta General Hospital, President Anastasiades said this demonstrates the Government's priorities, i.e. to create the conditions for high, quality and efficient level of medical services to the wider community.
These services, he said, are included in the efforts to improve care services, upgrade existing infrastructure and create modern and advanced Units and clinical referral centers.
The projects inaugurated are the hospital’s expansion, a new modern Hemodialysis unit and the operation of the Mammography Center that will meet the needs of the population of the government-controlled areas of Famagusta.
President Anastasiades said Famagusta Hospital, which operates as the COVID-19 Reference hospital, proved to be one of the most important points in the chain set up to deal with and manage the pandemic. He expressed his gratitude to the Director and the entire medical and nursing staff for the high sense of responsibility they demonstrated, despite the difficult conditions in which they were called to perform their duties.
The hospital’s expansion, as well as the operation of the Hemodialysis Unit and the Mammography Center inaugurated today, have a total cost exceeding three million euros, the President remarked, adding they have well-equipped facilities, providing all the necessary equipment to health professionals to perform their work.
At the same time, the new health services that the hospital will provide, not only will reduce the waiting times for patients, but also significantly enhance the health services provided to patients and eligible care recipients in the free area of Famagusta and others because they also cover the visitors of one of the most important tourist areas of the country.
He also noted, "that the creation of infrastructure, was also the goal of the broader policy” his government had adopted, and described the introduction of the National Health System, the “biggest social reform in the region, providing citizens with the ability for fair and equal access to quality health services."
The President emphasized that he acknowledges that there are problems and it is natural for any new reform, particularly the extension and adoption of a social system such as the National Health System, to have its shortcomings and deficiencies, which with the passage of time, the contribution of patients, patient associations, and different categories, will be improved.
In his speech, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said that when he took over the Health Ministry about 18 months ago, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Famagusta hospital was the reference hospital and the increasing demands for beds due to the pandemic left no room for anything else. Along with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, they took the initiative to steer procedures in cooperation with the State Health Services Organisation, so that the project became a reality in a short period of time.
The expansion of the hospital took 15 weeks and consists of facilities on the second and third floors with 54 beds, while the cost came to 1.6 million euros, he said.
The Health Minister further said that the new modern Hemodialysis unit was a long-standing demand of patients in the Famagusta region and was completed in nine months.
He added that the new mammography center in Famagusta will improve the public health services provided to women in the region and he is confident that the women will respond positively to the call for screenings.