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Floodgates still wide open in state hospitals

State doctors were quick to point fingers at the government saying it is not doing enough to ease the burden in overcrowded public hospitals, calling for immediate resolution of their day-to-day problems.

The outcry from the Pasyki state doctors union comes days after the holidays, when more patients visited the Emergency Room, putting a squeeze on medical staff in public hospitals.

“Once more, Pasyki wants to emphasise the staff shortage as well as poor administration and organisational structure, as many setbacks in the effort to reform the system take a toll on quality health care,” a union statement said.

But it turns out overcrowding during the holidays is a common occurrence, which results to fewer hospital beds being available.

Health Minister George Pamboridis says reforms are absolutely critical and ought to be implemented in a new scheme, in order to solve a myriad other problems, including overcrowding.

Acting director at Nicosia General’s Emergency Room, Savvas Christodoulou, said recently that state hospitals and trauma centres in other towns were seeing the bulk of patients who either drunk too much or caught a virus over the holidays.

While he admitted in some cases people had nowhere else to go, most people chose the ER thinking it was the simplest and quickest solution.

Christodoulou also said that the time needed for treatment also depends on the doctor and his or her overall experience but also on each individual case.

“The doctor can make a diagnosis, but in order to be 100% sure, he may ask for X-rays or blood tests, which then increases the overall service time, always for the benefit of the patient,” he said.

A text message sent by a state doctor on Sunday suggested that doctors on call were making rounds trying to find patients whom they could safely send home, in order to free up space, but they could not find anyone according to daily Phileleftheros.

Critics point out that failure to reform health care along with exhausted staff and poor organisational structure in state hospitals make it harder to avoid overcrowding, as staff get overwhelmed with patients who show up regardless of the degree or severity of their medical situation.

Decisions are taken every year aimed at alleviating the situation during peak seasons of influenza and viral infections, but results have failed to solve the problem each time and hospitals are in desperate need of reform before it is too late.

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