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Athalassa hospital renovation work begins

Contractors start renovation work by week’s end at Athalassa Psychiatric Hospital, after President Nicos Anastasiades asked for the 1960s-era facility to be spruced up as plans for a new facility begin to take shape.

Following public criticism of state services, accused of not taking action to put an end to appalling conditions at Athalassa, the president himself got involved last week by calling all stakeholders at the Presidential Palace.

Anastasiades had asked state services to come up with an interim renovation plan at the hospital, giving authorities just 10 days to make suggestions.

The president got suggestions on Wednesday, the tight deadline he had set for various state agencies to deliver a plan, including a budget that would pay for the work in stages.

During the initial stage, the first two wards will begin undergoing renovation and work is expected to be completed by the end of summer. After the two wards open for use, then other wards will close down for renovation on a rotating schedule.

Most of the work will be handed internally, within the government, and this means there is no need to open a tender for public bids.

However, according to Health Minister George Pamboridis, a ward used by state mental services dedicated to helping people with dependence will have to be carried out by an outsider bidder.

“During the second stage of renovation, Ward 14 will be revamped entirely,” said the minister.

Pamboridis also said that plans for a new mental hospital facility will go forward during renovation work, adding that a budget line has been earmarked for the pre-planning process involving various agencies.

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