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28 September, 2023
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State sides with hospital refusing to transport obese patient

Health Ministry cites lack of bariatric ambulances in Cyprus for latest public hospital incident


The Health Ministry addressed reports that medics refused to transport an obese patient, clarifying that the incident took place due to lack of bariatric ambulances in public hospitals.

The story appeared earlier in the media, saying a doctor at Larnaca General Hospital requested that an obese patient, reportedly weighing over 200 kilos, see a specialist in Nicosia.

But according to safety protocols, the statement said on Thursday, it was unsafe to transport a patient weighing over 181.2 kilos with state ambulances.

“Instructions from the manufacturer warn that in case a patient weighs over 181.2 kilos, there is a risk of falling and causing an injuring,” the statement said.

The family of the patient finally decided to call a private ambulance, which took the man to Nicosia on his own risk

The Ambulance department had suggested that the specialist be called from Nicosia General to the Larnaca hospital in order to avoid inconvenience to the patient.

But reports said the family of the patient had finally decided to call a private ambulance, which took the man to Nicosia on his own risk.

It is not clear whether the private clinic had a vehicle with a different weight threshold than state ambulances, but according to the Health Ministry there are no bariatric ambulances in Cyprus either in the public or private domains.

Bariatric ambulances are rare around the world, according to the statement, although they cite countries where they are in use, such as America, Australia, the UK, and Greece.

Bariatric ambulances are typically designed to carry weights between 350 and 450kg.

Cyprus  |  health  |  obesity  |  ambulance  |  bariatric  |  healthcare  |  hospital  |  overweight

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