A doctor at Makarios Children’s Hospital is refuting reports that a little girl was denied treatment, following an incident that sparked debate over non-network doctors referring their patients to state hospitals.
The Director of Pediatrics at Makarios, doctor Avraam Elia who spoke on state radio on Friday, says the 3-year-old girl who was running a fever was not denied treatment at Makarios Children’s Hospital.
Elia was referring to a case that sparked debate this week, following an incident on Wednesday morning when a little girl who had an infection and was running a temperature was turned away at the Emergency Room at Nicosia General Hospital.
Initial reports had said the private pediatrician who examined the little girl had complained about ER medics refusing to refer or treat the young patient to Makarios, citing the fact that she was not in the GESY network of doctors, a newly-launched Cyprus General Healthcare System. According to Philenews which broke the story, there was delay in admitting the little girl to Makarios Children’s Hospital until hours later when her mother could enroll her daughter with a GESY doctor.
The doctor said when a child is in serious condition, it can be admitted to Makarios Children’s Hospital directly when accompanied by any private pediatrician
But Elia says the incident was blown out of proportion, saying that the child should have simply been directed to Makarios Children’s Hospital directly. Instead, he told the radio host, the little girl was taken to the Emergency Room at Nicosia General which he believed caused further inconvenience.
The pediatrics director clarified that the ER did in fact refer the child to Makarios, where upon arriving, the mother was asked by a hospital administrator whether she had enrolled her child in GESY.
Earlier reports said the child was not initially admitted because the referring pediatrician was not registered in the GESY network of doctors. Philenews also said the mother had been told another reason for the refusal had to do with her own failure to register her child with GESY.
But Elia said the little girl was admitted as an in-patient, with the doctor stating adamantly that “nobody from the [Makarios hospital] medical staff ever denied admission because of GESY.”
He also added that when a child is in serious condition, it can be admitted to Makarios Children’s Hospital directly when accompanied by the private pediatrician, while children up to three months old can be admitted by bypassing all admission procedures.
In the case of the little girl, Elia said the mother took her child and left the hospital as soon as she was asked about GESY, only to return later following consultations she had with the private doctor.
According to Philenews, mother and child returned to Makarios four hours later, after the mother went home to complete her GESY registration.
The child was said to be hospitalized at Makarios and doing okay.