Christakis Partassides: €80 million investment in university hospital set to transform Cyprus’ health sector

With a budget of some €80 million, a new university hospital is being established in Nicosia, aiming to welcome patients from around the island, and the Diaspora, as it transforms Cyprus’ health sector.

With the project also anticipated to accelerate Cyprus’ prospects to attract medical tourism and promote research, work on the AHEPA University Hospital Cyprus is anticipated to begin in January 2024. The Vivant Medical Investments PLC (VMI) project’s completion is set for the first half of 2025.

To operate within the General Healthcare System (GHS-Gesy), the new hospital will be situated at the IMC building at the entrance of Nicosia. An 18,000 m2 structure that has housed a number of different ventures over the years, including shopping malls and the Cyprus Stock Exchange, the building was designed by noted British architect Lord Cunliffe and constructed by J&P.

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The building that will house the new hospital

As pointed out by AHEPA University Hospital Cyprus stakeholders, the building’s location will help ensure the new hospital is easily accessible to patients coming from outside Nicosia as well as from the capital city. They also revealed plans for a helipad to make it easier to get urgent cases to the hospital.

The stakeholders were speaking to the press at a 27 November onsite event presenting the project.

Addressing the briefing, Christakis Partassides, Vivant Medical Investments PLC (VMI) Board Chairman noted that the new hospital, as well as being fully accredited, would be state of the art. Pointing out that another positive aspect of the building selected to house the hospital was that its existing design could easily be modified to fulfill its new requirements.

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Dr Ioannis Patrikios, Christakis Partassides, Savas Tsivicos, Andreas Kaisis, and Iacovos Constantinides (Secretary, VMI)

“The entire investment including the purchase and conversion of the building into a hospital and the purchase of the necessary medical and other equipment comes to €80 million which will be covered equally through equity and via a bank loan,” Partassides noted.

He said that medical equipment would be the most modern available on the global market, and would allow for the most accurate, fastest, and least invasive diagnosis and treatment possible.

It was also revealed that the formation of the new hospital had sparked new interest in the area. While town planning has for some years now made it possible for a hotel to be constructed in the area, there has been little interest until now. The stakeholders revealed that since their plans for the site were made public, there had been interest in constructing a four-star hotel close by, to provide accommodation and other facilities to the families of patients.

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Dr Alfred Barich, Dr Ioannis Patrikios and Savvas Partassides

Dr Ioannis Patrikios, Deputy Dean of the European University Cyprus’ School of Medicine and member of the VMI board, meanwhile, gave a presentation on the new hospital’s aims and advantages, underlining that it would be patient-centralised. He also noted that the new hospital would embrace technology, again to the ultimate benefit of its patients. Close cooperation between the new hospital and the European University Cyprus’ School of Medicine is anticipated.

Set to be the first internationally accredited hospital in Cyprus, AHEPA University Hospital Cyprus will also be operating under the watchful eye of The Joint Commission International.

International accreditation

Also addressing the press briefing, Francine Westergaard, Principal Accreditation Consultant at The Joint Commission International explained that it had accredited more than 1,000 health care organisations in more than 70 countries across the globe while consultants had also worked with organisations in over 30 more countries.

“Our standards have been developed for health care organisations in the international community. What this means, is that these standards provide a tool, a framework for the leadership team to use. That framework includes safety and guidance in anesthesia, sedation, surgery, medication, safety, quality improvement and patient care,” Westergaard elaborated, noting this also included infection control, management of the facility, the building itself, and human resources management.

Patrikios pointed out that accreditation, as well as its many other benefits, was anticipated to significantly reduce hospital infections, adding that Cyprus was unfortunately among the top three European countries when it came to hospital infections.

Dr Alfred Barich, a member of the board of AHEPA University Hospital in Thessaloniki, meanwhile, noted that there were excellent prospects for closer cooperation between the two university hospitals, including in international programmes the Greek hospital was already involved in.

Savas Tsivicos, the Supreme President of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), reiterated the organisation’s support for the new hospital and was soon after invited by VMI Founder and Shareholder Andreas Kaisis to accept the title of VMI’s Honourary Chairman in recognition of AHEPA’s contribution to the new hospital’s realisation.

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Andreas Kaisis also presented Savas Tsivicos with a commemorative gift, a replica of a Paphos mosaic

The presentation was followed by a reception for stakeholders, the media and special guests.

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More about AHEPA University Hospital Cyprus:

The project aims to develop the largest and most advanced, fully accredited, university hospital in Cyprus, which will seriously upgrade the quality of medical services in the country.

The new hospital will provide comprehensive medical services for both inpatients and outpatients, and will include:

  • 100 Clinics and examination rooms for outpatients covering all medical specialties and specialisations
  • Approximately 200 inpatient health care beds, including Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds,
  • An accident and Emergency Department (A&E), fully equipped and staffed
  • Specialised and equipped Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Departments, with 20 rehabilitation beds,
  • 10 operating rooms fully equipped with the latest to perform all types of operations and 2 rooms / laboratories for catheterisation of cardiovascular and other diseases
  • Complete Radiology Laboratory with latest generation equipment, MRI, CT scanners, etc.
  • Complete Clinical Laboratory, hematological and biochemical analyses
  • Rooms / Laboratories for conducting examinations for each specialty such as endoscopy, gastroscopy, colonoscopies laboratories, urological laboratory, cardiology etc.

The new university hospital, in addition to its state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment, will have multiple features that will essentially upgrade the health sector in Cyprus, stakeholders have noted.

It will be the first fully accredited hospital in Cyprus, and will apply the strictest protocols and documented operating system, ensuring the highest level of services offered and the possibility of conducting clinical research. At the same time, it paves the way for the accreditation of other hospitals in Cyprus, making possible the strategic goal of attracting medical tourism.

Among the multiple advantages of the strategic cooperation agreement with AHEPA is the possibility of access to AHEPA's global network of health professionals, which includes leading academics, doctors, and researchers.

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The interconnection and multi-level cooperation with the AHEPA University Hospital of Thessaloniki, combined with the modern facilities and the latest technology equipment framed by distinguished professors and staffed with doctors and scientific staff of international scope, will provide the required infrastructure and conditions to the medical schools of our universities, for the practical training of their students, in an environment that will not lag behind the large university hospitals of Europe. Within these frameworks, the important prospect of a relevant agreement with the Medical School of the European University of Cyprus for the practical training of its students from the schools of medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, and technical medical specialties is moving forward, the stakeholders noted.

One of the innovations of the new university will be its digital infrastructure so that it is a digitally smart hospital that will have the databases and equipment to support research programs and epidemiological studies.

The whole project will have all the characteristics of a reference regional hospital that will strengthen the country’s wider economy.

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