A leading doctor in the north of Cyprus has called on patients with heart or other organ problems to register with the transplant waiting list sooner rather than later.
His comments come after it was revealed that there is a lack of demand in the north of Cyprus for donated organs and, as a result, the organs are then sent off to Turkey for transplant operations there.
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Dr Hasan Birtan, who is the assistant head of the Dr Burhan Nalbantoglu public hospital in Nicosia, said that they cannot use the transplants available as there are not enough recipients.
“We are then forced to send the transplants to heart transplant centres in Turkey” he said.
Himself a heart surgeon, Birtan called on all patients in need of a transplant, and especially those suffering from heart disease, to register to the heart transplant public waiting list.
He also called on patients to register as soon as possible and not wait until they need to be admitted into intensive care or their organs fail completely. He said cardiologists should refer patients with heart failure to the public hospital in Nicosia as soon as possible.
Another reason for the low demand in organ donors in the north is because of patients preferring to seek treatment in Turkey rather than the public hospital in the north and register to the transplant waiting lists there.
But he warned: “The lists in Turkey are unbelievably long. Most of the patients lose their lives waiting for their turn”.