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Funding spat delays Limassol oncology centre plans.

The construction of an oncology centre in Limassol will be delayed due to complicated negotiations between the Bank of Cyprus and the health ministry.

Plans were expected to be finalised by June this year.

"The Bank of Cyprus is just trying to find the best way to provide services that don't already exist for the patients," a source said on Friday. This has to do with uncertainties over the national health scheme, but also with the fact that a new private oncology hospital will soon open to cover some of the needs.

"There was initially a plan to increase the number of linear accelerators from three to five, but the German centre in Limassol will have two so if the need is served why should we spend money on this equipment?" the source, said referring to equipment that that administers radiation treatment to patients.

"The new clinic also provides for brachytherapy, and they are very good at this nuclear medicine, so we should cover something else for which there is a need," the source added. Brachytherapy treats cancer by inserting radioactive implants directly into the tissue.

It is not a matter of not wanting to spend the money, but there are strong opinions on all sides on how to best spend it, the source added.

After signing an agreement, The Bank of Cyprus started discussing technical details with the health ministry in January.

No exact budget has yet been set aside for the project, as the amount depends on the needs and has not yet been calculated, but the bank expects its initial commitment will be in the region of e1/411 million, of which e1/47m is estimated to be for infrastructure and e1/44.5m for equipment. Not all the money will be needed right at the beginning but it will be supplied in stages.

The bank has committed itself to financing the bulk of the much-needed new facility while the state will also pay for some of the building and equipment.

The centre is seen as being vital as patients currently have to travel from Paphos and Limassol to Nicosia for treatment, some leaving as early as 5am from Paphos by bus.

There are an estimated 3,500 new cancer cases every year, half of which need radiotherapy. About 40 per cent of these patients live in Limassol and Paphos.

The new radiation and oncology centre will be located on state land near the Limassol general hospital and will cater for patients from the Limassol and Paphos areas. The three floors of the building are expected to be built and equipped within three years after plans are finalised by the bank and the ministry.

The new private oncology clinic, called the German centre as its founder Nicolaos Zamboglou headed the department of radiotherapy and radio oncology in Offenbach, Germany, for nearly 25 years, is nearing completion.

It is located near the sea in Ayios Athanasios.

The post Funding spat delays Limassol oncology centre plans appeared first on Cyprus Mail .

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Jun 30, 2017
Words:514
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