AKEL’s positions and proposals for strengthening the Health sector to confront the coronavirus pandemic
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 21 March 2020, Nicosia
Our state is experiencing an unprecedented situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We consider that at this critical juncture our top priority is to address the situation and for that purpose, as AKEL we shall continue to make our own contribution with all our strength. Now is not the time to discuss and criticise any mistakes, delays and omissions is not the time.
In this endeavor, we propose the following for the crucial health sector:
- Full and consistent implementation of the principle that everyone’s actions and behavior must be dictated by science. Fully comply with the advice and recommendations of the experts.
- Timely and decisive application of measures that have been announced without any regressions.
- Speedy elaboration of an overall action plan by the Ministry of Health to confront the pandemic by all health providers with different involvement levels of doctors, hospitals and other services ready for both the best and the worst case scenario.
- Tackling epidemics is primarily the responsibility of the state. Full responsibility for the management of Public Hospitals, but also for decision-making, coordination and implementation of the best practices must be undertaken by the Ministry of Health.
- The Government needs to ensure in a planned way the cooperation of the public with the private sector and the integration of general practitioner’s (GP’s) in the joint effort. The Ministry of Health must manage the concept of requisition as a tool of cooperation and correct organization.
- The necessary supplies, equipment and medical consumables must be ensured for all health workers so that they can carry out their duties in safety.
- Strict adherence to protocols and guidelines. We propose the designation of three-member scientific committees for the implementation of the protocols at every hospital.
- Participation of general practitioners in screening the cases. Patients should contact their GP and he/she should contact the screening centre provided that it is deemed necessary.
- All public hospitals must have the possibility to carry out a laboratory diagnosis.
- Constant monitoring to ensure the rigorous implementation of the circulars issued in relation to hospital visits.
- Precautions for health professionals belonging to vulnerable groups should be taken. They should be relieved of their duties, as it is foreseen that they will be needed as a reserve backup force in the process.
- Strengthen the Famagusta Hospital, as the reference hospital, with the necessary expertise/specialists and with the necessary equipment so that it can fully handle all the incidents.
- Immediate finding or creation of separate space where suspected cases will be assessed. Separate staff should be employed in these spaces.
- Establishment of mobile teams to provide outpatient support to slightly ill people who are confined, making use of GP’s and community nursing.
- Defining a procedure/set of rules for the course that each case will follow, as well as for the duties and responsibilities of each health officer and paramedic involved in the case.
- The government must ensure that the quarantine areas are provided with the necessary staffing, hygiene and nutrition.
- We call on all doctors and nurses to join the network confronting COVID-19, through their contribution where deemed necessary.
- Drawing on the expertise of health professionals must become the rule for the implementation of measures that should be adapted to Cypriot conditions.
- We salute the tremendous hard work and struggle of health officials, the entire medical and paramedical staff to confront the pandemic.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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