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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

In a letter to Christodoulidis, Annita requests the construction of a pediatric hospital

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Με επιστολor π ροστοδζηναν&epsilon ;ρση παιδιατρικονοσοκομεΙου η Ανντα

A letter to the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulidis, will be sent today by the Speaker of the Parliament, Annita Dimitriou, formulating the request of the Parliamentary Health Committee for the construction of a pediatric hospital next to the Nicosia General Hospital.

The President of the Parliament attended the session of the Parliamentary Health Committee, which met on Thursday to discuss the upcoming construction works at the Makarios Hospital as well as the planning and taking of measures, so that there would be no impact on the health of hospitalized children. The issue was examined ex officio following a proposal by AKEL MPs, Marina Nikolaos, Nikos Kettiros and Christos Christofias.

Speaking during the Committee's session, Annita Dimitriou mentioned that on the eve of the June 9 elections, an extraordinary discussion was held on the issue, stressing that everyone's goal is not to create an issue with children's health and to proceed properly.

< p data-block-key="5ipfe">The President of the Parliamentary Health Committee and Member of Parliament of DISY, Efthymios Diplaros, noted that “we need assurances that no one will be in danger during the execution of the work at Makarios Hospital”.

< p data-block-key="fs88e">DISY Member of Parliament, Savia Orfanidou, stated that “we want the best for the children”, adding that “we are here to listen and leave with a positive result”.

DISY Member of Parliament, Charalambos Pazaros, expressed the hope that any obstacles have been overcome and that “in the next 3-4 years we will manage to improve public hospitals in all provinces”.

AKEL Member of Parliament, Marina Nikolaou, said that in a meeting with the Minister of Health, AKEL had raised the question of whether measures had been taken for the projects to be done at the Makarei Hospital, adding that the party registered the issue in February. “To be Supply and not Supply,” he said. 

The Member of Parliament of AKEL, Christos Christofias, said that a lot had happened since the day of registration of the matter, which increased the concerns. Necessary preliminary work was not done to ensure the specifications and health of hospitalized children, he said. At the same time, he asked the General Director of the Ministry of Health, Christina Giannaki, for the position of the Minister of Health, Michalis Damianou, in relation to the issue registered by AKEL.

MP of DIKO, Panikos Leonidou, said that the presence of technocrats and scientists at the session of the Health Committee shows everyone's sensitivity to the issue being discussed.

EDEK Member of Parliament, Andreas Apostolou, congratulated AKEL for registering the matter, noting that “our vision must be the creation of a new hospital for the mother and the child and the creation of a university clinic”.

Obligation of the contractor to implement the recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Committee, say the Ministry of Health – OKYPY

The Director General of the Ministry of Health, Christina Giannaki, responding to the AKEL Member of Parliament, Christos Christofias, said that the Minister of Health has a great empathy in health matters, which was proven by his presence at the Ministry so far. 

Referring to the recent opening of the All-Cypriot Trauma Center and the Neonatal Unit in Makareio, she spoke of innovative projects that will help develop the OKYpY and improve the state of public hospitals. 

All the recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Committee set up for the renovation projects at Makareio must be met for the well-intentioned interest of the children, Ms. Giannaki pointed out, adding that “everything we say will be recorded in the contract for the contractor to implement.”

The General Executive Director of OKYpY, Kypros Stavridis, spoke of a “landmark project”, noting that the guidelines given by the Infections Committee of the Makarei Hospital were taken into account in the drafting of the technical specifications. He also said that OKYpY proceeded with additional moves, taking into account the concerns, asked the contractor to submit the health and safety measures it intends to implement, and established a multidisciplinary committee, considering that all concerns should be heard and heeded. 

“The contractor cannot start work if he does not receive the consent of OKYpY”, Mr. Stavridis emphasized, adding that he committed himself through a letter to follow all the recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Committee. “The contractor is obliged to implement any additional measures proposed by the Interdisciplinary Committee”, he added. 

In addition, he said he sought a legal opinion, which confirms that what he reported before the Health Commission is clearly written in the contract and true. Afterwards, he mentioned that the “Design-Build-Maintenance” methodology was followed for the project. He noted that OKYpY received €28 million from the Recovery and Resilience Plan, as well as about €11 million with help from the Ministry of Health for other upgrade projects. “If the contract is signed, the project will be studied,” he added.

Neoklis Antoniou, on behalf of the Department of the Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, stated that in April 2023 the Department sent a letter to OKYpY, by which it sent forms to the Organization, inviting it to fill them out in order to issue the appropriate certificate. “We are still waiting,” he said, answering a question from AKEL Member of Parliament, Marina Nikolaou. 

Evangelitsa Tsoulofta, on behalf of the Department of Labor Inspection of the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance, emphasized that measures must be defined to be included in the contract. “There was no consultation, which we expect,” he noted, adding that the commencement of projects must be notified to the Provincial Labor Inspection Department 14 days in advance. 

The representative of the Office of the Oversight Commissioner of the GeSY said that all the agencies involved should jointly agree on all the measures that should be taken in the context of the safety and environmental conditions of Makarei Hospital.

The representative of the Commissioner for the Protection of Children's Rights stated that the Office is monitoring the matter and has received notification of the complaints sent to the Ministry of Health. “We will investigate the matter”, he added.

Need for the construction of a new pediatric hospital in Nicosia

Doctor Eleni Pspachristodoulou, on behalf of the Pediatric Oncology Clinic of the Makarios Hospital, said that the primary goal of the state should be a new hospital, which should be created next to the Nicosia General Hospital. “That should be our primary concern,” he stressed. “We are the front line, we feel like we don't have the support we would like,” he added. 

Also, he pointed out that the premises of Makarei should be filtered before the start of the works, underlining that there is a need for legal assistance to form a legal framework.

Replying to Mrs. Papachristodoulou, Efthimios Diplaros, said that the Parliament is here to take care of any issues that arise, clarifying that OKYpY will take care of the legal issues.

Annita Dimitriou underlined that “the ideal would be the creation of a new hospital, but we must not lose sight of the possible”. 

Dr. Loizos Loizou, President of the Pan-Cypriot Association of Parents and Friends of Children with Oncological and Hematological Diseases ELPIDA, agreed with Mrs. Papachristodoulou for the creation of a new pediatric hospital, adding that “it is urgent”. 

He also said that the interdisciplinary committee has shortcomings, noting that OKYPY must contract with experts of international prestige and set up an advisory body with competent scientists from abroad, who will be able to decide that the projects to be carried out will meet the specifications. “All this should have been done 12 months ago,” he pointed out. 

The Member of Parliament of DIKO, Panikos Leonidou, said that “we are discussing in retrospect to set other conditions, we should have done the study in advance and then announced the offer”. 

Xenis Xenophontos, representative of the parents of children hospitalized at the Pediatric Oncology Clinic of the Makarios Hospital, stated that the specific building is not suitable for 2024 and requested the commitment of all parties for launching the construction of a new pediatric hospital. 

Responding to Mr. Xenophontos, the President of the Parliament, Annita Dimitriou, said that “we have never refused to vote funds for health”. Regarding the request for the construction of a new pediatric hospital, Mrs. Dimitriou said that “we do not have anything in front of us from the executive power”. 

DISY Member of Parliament, Savia Orfanidou, noted that there must be a political intention from the Government, adding that “we will support it”.

The Member of Parliament of DIKO, Zacharias Koulias, said that, if the Government does not submit a proposal for a new pediatric hospital, “as DIKO we will not vote for the next state budget”.

EDEK Member of Parliament, Andreas Apostolou, said that, “if this money is spent on the projects in Makareio, we will not have a new hospital in the next 20-25 years”. He also stated that he disagrees with the Government's decision to renovate Makareio. 

The President of the Cyprus Pediatric Society, Michalis Anastasiadis, emphasized that “our priority should be the establishment of a new and modern pediatric hospital without asterisks”, adding that “we must demand this project”.

The President of the Pancypriot Association for Children with Cancer and Related Diseases “One Dream One Wish”, Giorgos Penindaex, asked if OKYpY's signature on the contract concerns the study or the start of the project. 

Responding to Mr. Penindaex, the General Executive Director of OKYpY, Kypros Stavridis, said that it concerns the study of the project which includes all the studies required by the legislation and the European Commission. The amount of €28 million given by the European Commission includes the construction of the project, he clarified.

Marios Charalambidis, Secretary of OSAK, called on the State to draw up a plan to assess the possibility of creating a new pediatric hospital. As OSAK, he continued, “we put our concerns for the renovation of Makareio in terms of static study, safeguarding the safety and health of children, and enriching the hospital's departments.” 

The renovation project of Makarei will not proceed without the agreement of the committee, he noted, while expressing his satisfaction.

Artemis Artemiou, President of the Alkinos Artemiou Foundation, stated that everything that was said is theoretically in the right direction, expressing his pessimism regarding the implementation of the theory. 

Referring to the first meeting held by the Interdisciplinary Committee on May 31, he said that the views of the Interdisciplinary Committee were not included in the project announcement. “Is direct award by the successful tenderer in the public interest?”, he asked.

Responding to Mr. Artemiou, Kypros Stavridis stated that “we follow the laws and regulations of the state”. Addressing Mr. Stavridis, Artemis Artemiou clarified: “We are not saying that you acted illegally. We consider that you did not act in the best way”.

Sotiris Koumas, President of PASYKI, said that “we have to find a solution and see how to proceed”. “The studies were not done on time. Who is responsible?”, he asked.

Christiana Markou, President of the Little Heroes Foundation, stated that a new pediatric hospital should be built.

Christina Papadimitriou, on behalf of the Pancypriot Association of Parents and Friends of Pediatric Oncology Unit, expressed doubts about the independence of the Interdisciplinary Commission, adding that he wants to know its legal framework. Responding to Ms. Papadimitriou, Kypros Stavridis said that this position offends him.

Alkis Dikaios, on behalf of ETEK, pointed out that it is important that the studies are done first and approved after consultation with the relevant departments. “Our first concern should be to ensure the health of the children”, he indicated.

In response to a question from AKEL Member of Parliament, Marina Nikolaou, the representative of the technician department of OKYPY said that the contractor is obliged to implement all the committee's measures. “All concerns should be included in the project's Health and Safety Plan,” he added.

The Speaker of the Parliament, Annita Dimitriou, said that she will send a letter to the President of the Republic on behalf of the Parliament's Health Committee regarding the request to build a new pediatric hospital in Nicosia. 

Subsequently, he asked for the commitment of the OKYpY that the contractor will not be able to start work without the approval of the OKypY and that all the recommendations of the interdisciplinary committee will be followed. Otherwise, he said, the project will not proceed, adding that the contractor will be required to implement any additional measures requested by the Interdisciplinary Committee. He also requested that the OKYpY file a legal opinion on what should be included in the project. 

Placements of MPs after the session

In her statements after the end of the session of the Health Committee, the Speaker of the Parliament and President of DISY, Annita Dimitriou said that “the issue is that the health and safety of children should not be affected in any way”. As he said, “we want to make sure that, if the interdisciplinary committee does not agree, there will be no transfer (S.S. of hospitalized children to another place) or whatever option is put as a provision in the contract.

AKEL Member of Parliament, Marina Nikolaou, stated that “as AKEL, we have committed to follow the issue very closely”. As he said, the issue will be discussed again in the Health Committee “because for us, health and human life are not priced according to contractual terms”.

The MP of EDEK, Andreas Apostolou, appealed for a change in the plans in the direction of building a new hospital for the mother and the child. “We have submitted our proposals before the Minister of Health and the President of the Republic”, he added.  

Subjects listed in the Committee

During the session of the Health Committee, AKEL registered an issue about “the Nazi salute of an ELAM executive, who brought the Holy Light to the Makarios Hospital on the evening of Holy Saturday”.

DISY filed a matter for the registration of Hellinopontians in the GeSY. The President of the Health Committee and Member of Parliament of DISY, Efthymios Diplaros, stated that Greek Pontians come to Cyprus at an old age and cannot benefit from the services of GeSY.

Source: KYPE

Source: reporter.com.cy

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