The Ministry of Health is responsible for the regulation of care homes
The Elderly Rights and Mental Health Association released a statement about Covid-19 cases found in a care home operating in Nicosia. The Elderly Rights and Mental Health Association announced that the necessary rules were not implemented in some care facilities and that the Ministry of Health did not inspect care homes during the pandemic.
The Association’s full statement:
“A year and a half ago, care homes operating in the TRNC were closed to visitors due to the Corona pandemic. The first Biontech vaccines that came to Cyprus were given to the elderly living in care homes and care home workers. The elderly who did not want to be vaccinated were not accepted in the care homes. Visits to the elderly residents were made outdoors with a distance and masks were worn. These measures that were implemented around the world were necessary and effective. For a year and a half, there were no reported Corona cases in the cases. This was a great achievement for our care homes, which don’t have sufficient means to protect patients from each other during the pandemic process. We should congratulate them.
“Unfortunately, yesterday a corona case was encountered for the first time in a care home operating in Nicosia. Moreover, coronavirus was detected not just in an individual, but in more than half of the elderly and staff, and an elderly patient with dialysis died after getting corona.
“What does this incident show us? That we can no longer protect our elders. It shows that the initial measures taken in care homes are no longer applied by some of them. When we look at the nursing home with a corona case, we see that it was opened only 11 months ago. It has never been inspected by the Ministry of Health. They do not know the preventative measures and rules implemented by care homes during the pandemic; they were not informed.
They had admitted unvaccinated elderly to the care home and also accepted visitors.
“It was not only this particular care home that was not inspected during the pandemic; none of the other nursing homes we spoke with today were inspected. The Ministry of Health, it seems, is not aware that it is responsible for the inspection of elderly care homes. This is because there is no law on care homes for the elderly. In the absence of a law, it is not clear which ministry the care homes will be under and by whom they will be regulated and supervised. Some blame the Department of Social Services under the Ministry of Labour, while others blame the Ministry of Health. The short lifespan of governments and ministers in the TRNC makes the problem even more difficult.
“Auditing requires authority, requires law, and requires responsible management. We repeat our call to the government. Create the care home law and implement it as soon as possible. The development of the elderly care sector without a law; an illegal sector, is extremely damaging and dangerous for our elderly people. This is the latest situation.”
The Elderly Rights and Mental Health Association