Since Monday, January 30, 2023, the first Accident and Emergency Department dedicated to Children only has been running on a trial basis.
Three permanent pediatricians are currently employed by the new Department, which is housed in a specially designed area that is part of the first aid area of the Nicosia General Hospital.
But by the end of February, there will be five employees, thanks to the OCYPY's immediate plans to hire two more pediatricians to work in the Department.
The space is outfitted with the necessary equipment, and it should be noted that the adult Emergency department will also lend a hand with more specialized equipment.
Furthermore, if a child requires additional hospitalization, he or she will be moved to Makarios Hospital.
Health Minister Michael Hadjipantelas expressed "joy and satisfaction" in his statements on the sidelines of his visit to the site, where he inspected the progress of preparations, because "another goal of the government of Nicos Anastasiades and the Ministry of Health has been achieved," he said.
According to the Minister, the goal was to create an Accidents & Emergency Department for children, a goal which he added: "was achieved and since Monday, children have been coming to First Aid and are being examined in the special section formed especially for them".
Regarding the procedure, Hajipantelas stated that children arrive at the Screening Centre with their families and then go to the specially designed section for children, where they are examined by pediatricians.
In response to a question, Hajipantelas stated that "at the moment there are three screening rooms," and that 10 to 15 children were being screened per day as of Monday.
He emphasized that the OkYPY and the doctors must be given time to make this system work.
"We will evaluate it on a weekly basis to identify any issues and resolve them as soon as possible. Our goal is to improve the service we provide to all patients in Cyprus," he stated.
The additional shifts will be staffed by community pediatricians working in public hospitals, according to the Health Minister.
Andreas Eliades, the director of the Nicosia General Hospital's Paediatric Department, stated that the department is operating on a trial basis and asked for patience because the department is currently only partially staffed.
"We anticipate that we will be better staffed in the coming days. This means all of the infrastructure that serves both the adults and the children. The difference is that children aged 0 to 16 years will be examined by a pediatrician in a specially designed room," he elaborated.
He also stated that weekly assessments will be conducted in order to improve the effort.