More than 60 doctors have responded to a call from the Cyprus Medical Association to help the state deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
In a message on Twitter, the medical association said that more expressions of interest were coming in.
The tweet came hours after CMA president President Petros Agathangelou told the Cyprus News Agency that the association has prepared a declaration of interest document for doctors so that they can express their readiness to take part in the effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
With a number of health professionals from Nicosia and Paphos Hospitals in self-isolation and the 1420 call centre deluged with calls, the government is looking at ways to ease the pressure on the state health services.
Yesterday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou made a dramatic appeal to the medical community, calling on doctors to respond to a plea to staff influenza centres.
Agathangelou told the Cyprus News Agency on Wednesday that he has personally appealed to all members of the association to rise to the occasion and place themselves at the state’s disposal.
The Medical Association is in continuous contact with the Ministry of Health and has submitted its proposals, he said.
“We are strengthening the effort for staffing needs and following that to plan and to distribute specialties in the correct manner where they are needed,” he noted.
Θετική η ανταποκριση των συναδελφων στο καλεσμα του ΠΙΣ. Μεχρι στιγμής εχουν ληφθει στα γραφεια μας 60 δηλώσεις ιατρών, αριθμός ο οποίος και αυξάνεται αυτή την ώρα. (προς διάψευση ψευδών πληροφοριών και #fakenews που διαδίδει μικρή μερίδα εκπροσώπων ΜΜΕ) pic.twitter.com/oaIMakbEVd
— Cyprus Medical Association | CyMA-ΠΙΣ (@CymaCyprus) March 18, 2020
He said that he has personally appealed two days ago to all Cyprus Medical Association members in a letter “to rise to the occasion and to respond to the State’s needs because we are health professionals and through our public mission, we should do our utmost in order to save our patients, save our citizens from this pandemic.”
Replying to a question on the association’s coordinating role he said that in order to further enhance interest by doctors, it has prepared a special document for doctors which they will submit to the association until 1200 hours local time today, adding that a list of interested doctors will then “be sent to the Ministry of Health in order for further capacity planning to be made.”
He recalled that about 95% of doctors are already in the state’s service through the new national health system which has been established in Cyprus, clarifying that for the national health centres which will be set up the specialties needed will be mainly general practitioners, family practitioners and pathologists.
Other specialties, such as, pulmonologists, anaesthesiologists and ICU (Intensive Care Unit) doctors will then need to be distributed in hospitals, he added.
Yesterday, the Health Minister appealed to the medical community, calling on doctors to respond to a plea to man influenza centers.
Speaking to journalists, Ioannou appeared disappointed that there has been no response by personal doctors, despite repeated calls by the Ministry.
The operation of these centres can be decisive in the fight against coronavirus, the Minister added.
He also urged doctors to make every effort to guide people in this crucial time for the country to ease the pressure on the 1420 hotline.
The Minister said that people should not worry if they haven’t traveled recently abroad or if they had no contact with a confirmed case and called people to avoid putting more pressure on the health system at this challenging time, in order to be able to care for those who really need it. “Panic at this time is exactly what we need to avoid” Ioannou stressed.
The Minister of Health, along with Government Spokesman Kyriacos Koushos called on people to be socially responsible comply the call to “stay at home” and “avoid social interaction” for as long as it takes.