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Non-computerised system causes waiting list chaos

“Absolutely chaotic!” is how Androulla Eleftheriou, Vice President of Pancyprian Federation of Patients and Friends, describes the hospital waiting list debacle.

It was decided earlier this year, in order to alleviate the problems faced by patients on over-extended waiting lists in state hospitals, to refer them to private hospitals and clinics.

“Complaints have been received that patients who are on waiting lists have not been referred to private hospitals while in other cases, where waiting lists have been exhausted, patients are referred to private clinics instead of being treated at the state hospitals,” said Eleftheriou.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting between the Technocratic Committee set up to monitor the situation and Health minister, Giorgos Pamboridis, Eleftheriou said that the problem largely lay in the fact that the various clinics in the state hospitals do not have an automated appointment system, but rely on appointment books.

“It is very difficult to keep track of patients on such waiting lists and to prioritise them. There is no way of checking if people have been on the waiting list for a long time or if they have been recently added.”

“We must find a way to keep control of the waiting lists and at the same time ensure total transparency in the procedures that are followed in order to prevent the same things from happening again!” exclaimed Eleftheriou with regards to the problems and complaints received by the Federation.

Since 22 May until 22 July, a total of 3,779 patients have been referred for treatment at private hospitals, while a further 12,771 patients on waiting lists have been informed and are expected to be treated within the next couple of months.

“With things as they are, those that have dealt with the programme to exhaust the waiting lists, especially the directorate of the Health Ministry, have overcome an extremely difficult challenge,” concluded Eleftheriou
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