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Min. Health: Over 1,500 patients abroad for treatment in 2023

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Υπ. ΥγεΙας: Παν&omega ; απo 1,500 ασθενεiς στο εξωτερικo για θεραπεΙα το 2023

In 2023, a total of 1,523 patients were referred abroad for treatment in university clinics and reference centers in Germany, Israel, France, Britain, Belgium, Sweden and Greece, the Minister of Health Michalis Damianou said tonight.

In his greeting at the event of the Christina A. Apostolou Foundation – 18 Years of Offering, “The support of patients who go abroad and the responsibility of the State”, held in Larnaca, the Minister said that “the presence of the President of the Republic at the event highlights the great importance that governance attaches to volunteerism, especially when it is related to the health sector. The health of the citizens is the primary concern of the State and for this purpose the NHS has been formed, which we continue to strengthen and expand”.

However, he continued, as a small country “sometimes we do not have the necessary structures for specialized incidents, nor the number of these incidents to ensure their effective treatment here in Cyprus. The state has a duty to offer its citizens the necessary health services, regardless of the structures of the NHS,” he said.

In the context of further support for patients who travel for treatment abroad, he continued, “the government intends to cover travel, accommodation and food costs for patients and their companions within the framework of the Plan to Provide Financial Assistance for Health Services that are not offered in Public Domain”.

Mr. Damianou described the handling of the incidents, which cannot be served in Cyprus, as “particularly complex and often urgent” and that is why “the Department of Subsidized Patients operates in the Ministry of Health supported by the Health Officer, who serves at the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Berlin, under the guidance of the Director General. This Sector works tirelessly day and night without extra pay, to help our fellow citizens who need access to this specialized care”.

The Department of Subsidized Patients, he said, “has the know-how and expertise to deal with the incidents in question. The urgent nature of the incidents requires an immediate and effective response which is achieved along with equal treatment, transparency and non-discrimination, thanks to the methodical approach of the General Director and the procedures that have been instituted”.

In his greeting, the Minister of Health referred to the process of sending patients abroad and said that “within 2023, 1,523 cases were referred, in 2022, 1,255 cases were referred, in 2021, 1,000 cases were referred and in 2020, 1,014 were referred. These referrals concern university clinics and reference centers in Germany, in Israel mainly for neonatal heart surgery and other serious cases and burns, in France and England mainly for liver transplants, in Belgium, Sweden and Hospitals in Greece including Onassis for Lung transplants”.

He also said that “the Ministry of Health has developed a wide and flexible network of collaborations with leading University Reference Hospitals abroad which is activated for the immediate transfer to these centers of cases that cannot be treated in Cyprus”.

< p data-block-key="2tmaf">Referring to the “determining role” played by the Christina A. Apostolou Foundation, the Minister noted that “for 18 consecutive years, it has been helping these struggling families by providing support in various ways. The foundation's help was decisive for many families since it helped our suffering fellow man to have his family by his side in the most difficult moments of his life,” he noted.

In her own greeting, the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Marilena Evangelou, stated that “the foundation, which was founded in memory of Christina A. Apostolou, who passed away at the age of 44, after a long and uneven battle with cancer, has more than 2,400 of registered friends, with the main goal of financially supporting children and young people with chronic diseases for a better future. The Christina Apostolou Foundation is therefore an important partner and fellow traveler of the state in the exercise of social policy,” he said.

He added that “through the Foundation, a remarkable work of giving to our suffering fellow human beings has been achieved. In particular, the “Christina A. Apostolou Foundation Blood Bank” was established, establishing awards to the excellent students of the schools she attended, but the most important action of the Foundation is the help granted to dozens of children for their treatment in Cyprus and/or abroad and to their families”.

As said Ms. Evangelou “to this effort of the Foundation and other organizations as well as to personal requests from citizens, the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare responded with particular sensitivity, exceptionally subsidizing until today patients and their companions, for the purposes of going abroad for treatment, examination or operations. Specifically, since 2023 approximately 85 patient requests have been met with a grant of a total of 270,000 euros”.

In her greeting, she also referred to organized volunteering in Cyprus “which is supported by the state to provide services, assisting in government work” and noted that “through synergies developed over time by the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare with the Organized Voluntary Movement, we have achieved the improving services to meet important social needs, through financial support from state resources or European programs, cooperation and the provision of all support and state supervision, without substituting the role of the State”.

Charalambos Papadopoulos, President of the Federation of Patients' Associations (OSAK) in his own greeting stated that “since 2006 the Foundation has been producing multi-level social work through various programs and services concerning, among others, the financial support of vulnerable families, the financial support of vulnerable and charitable institutions and the creation of infrastructure and services that have as their direct goal the child”.

He added that “it is these kinds of actions that not only highlight the necessity of the existence of organizations that act in addition to the services of the state, but also strengthen and upgrade their operation, establishing them in the consciousness of society as entities that must be taken seriously ».

He also referred to the financial support of chronic patients for receiving treatments abroad and noted that “the Foundation, like various other organizations, financially support families who need to go abroad for medical reasons” even referring to cases where families organized fundraisers for to secure the necessary sums to go abroad for treatment, their own people”. non-medical expenses arising in cases where patients and their companions go abroad to receive medical services” and noted that “as OSAK, we will always seek close and cordial cooperation with the Christina A. Apostolou Foundation, as well as with other organizations which aim to offer a project of public benefit”.

The Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Foundation Christina A. Apostolou, Member of Parliament Andreas Apostolou said that “the Foundation has responded positively to 462 requests of families to date. A large, timeless gap in the State that the non-profit organizations, but mainly the families themselves, are called upon to take on, an unfair and unbearable burden, since amidst the agony and the Golgotha ​​these families face, they are forced to face another financial Golgotha” he said and noted that he characterized this gap “as one of the greatest injustices and weaknesses of the health and welfare services”.

As Mr. Apostolou said “in the last months both at the Ministry of Health and at the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare I found doors open” and he thanked both the former Minister of Health, the current Minister, the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare for their support “to the Foundation and to the chronic patients and their families” but also the Director General of the Ministry of Health “for her constant concern, anxiety and struggles for patients and their families who go abroad for treatment”.

He also referred to a meeting he recently had with the Minister of Education, Sports and Youth Athina Michailidou with whom they discussed “the issue of the education of children who stay for months or even years abroad for medical reasons” .

It is noted that the event was attended by, among others, the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, the Deputy Government Spokesperson, the Director General of the Ministry of Health, the Prefect of Larnaca, representatives of political parties , Mayors and Mayors of the province, representatives of the Police and the National Guard, a representative of the Metropolitan of Kiti, the President of the All-Cypriot Association “A Dream, a Wish”, the President of the KEBE, MPs and a crowd of people.

Source: KYPE

Source: reporter.com.cy

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