A three year old infant with 40 C fever was turned away from Makarios Children’s Hospital in Nicosia because she was not registered with the general health scheme, philenews reports.
It said that the little girl had been suffering with high fever for eight days. But when her mother took her to hospital, they were told the child could not be admitted because she was not registered with the GHS.
The GHS came into force on June 1, but the first phase does not cover hospital care. The incident is indicative of the prevailing confusion over the new system, described as the biggest social reform ever in Cyprus.
Private paediatrician Ioanna Stylianou told philenews said that she had examined the child on May 29 and again on June 3 when she diagnosed a respiratory infection and an ear infection. She prescribed antibiotics and told the parents to contact her immediately if the fever persisted.
On Wednesday morning, the child’s mother contacted the doctor to say that the fever was persisting and that the child was tired and subdued.
The doctor deemed it necessary the child be immediately admitted into Makarios Hospital. The mother and child went to the accident and emergency department of Nicosia Hospital to ask for a referral for Makarios Hospital but it refused to give one and told the mother to take the child to Makarios Hospital as it was still ‘working hours’.
There however, the hospital refused to admit infant on the grounds that the paediatrician was not registered with the GHS and that the mother had failed to register the child.
After four hours, and after the mother was told to go home and register with a doctor of the state services, the child was finally admitted to hospital.
When the paediatrician contacted the paediatric department of Makarios Hospital to ask why the child had undergone such inconvenience, she was told by officials there that they were not yet familiar with what procedures to follow.