Health

Seeking TRNC permission to travel for medical treatment

By Chris Elliott…

With Covid – 19  lockdowns in place, it’s been necessary to apply for permission to travel for various reasons including medical treatment.

We often receive emails to CyprusScene asking for advice on the various issues and recently we had requests for help for a cancer patient and accompanying carer to travel between regions for medical treatment and seemingly having their requests refused.

There is a system in place on the link shown below which enables the user to register a request to travel and the important part we think is the reason for travel and we have stressed the need to fill this in confirming which Doctor you have an appointment with and at what time and also give a telephone number so your appointment can be clarified if the authority needs to do so.

https://permissions.gov.ct.tr/street

The online form also asks you to give the location to visit (we recommend giving full hospital name and who you will be seeing) and also the date of travel to and from and between which hourly times.

There is one small worry here and that is if the person needing treatment is being taken by another then they also need to seek permission and should clearly state under the reason for travel, who they are accompanying for an appointment,  who they are seeing and at what time and give a telephone number for confirmation.

I have had reason to seek permission to visit a hospital which is 2.2 km away and takes around 26 minutes (google maps quote) and although on the form I gave an hour travelling time (hours are the only choice) I notice the permission given only allowed 30 minutes for travelling and the 4 hours I asked for travelling and being attended to at the hospital had been reduced to 2½ hours on the permission.

Another interesting point if you have a mobile that predates smartphones although you will receive a permission notification you will be unable to open it to read the permission detail.

The system seems to work OK, or does it?

On my last visit my partner, who was driving, also had an appointment to see a doctor about a lump that had quickly developed in her armpit.  On attending her appointment she was asked by the doctor to have an ultra -scan test and when he reviewed the results she was introduced to another doctor who after examination said it’s probably not a major problem but should be dealt with quickly as it could be an infection and recommended a minor operation to remove the lump the following day and she was asked to check in at the emergency department of the hospital the next day at 8.00 am. Super service.

The problem on returning home she applied for permission to travel and this was rejected so a further application with a more comprehensive reason to travel and attend the hospital was sent and eventually a  further rejection was received on her phone at around 4.00am in the morning.  There is no reason given for the rejection.

So what do you do when you have had 2 rejections to attend hospital for an operation and the person accompanying you has received permission to travel. I leave our readers to puzzle that one out.

Returning to the case of the cancer patient seeking permission to travel I received the following message this morning.

We went to Lefkosia yesterday from Alsancak.

On the Tuesday prior to treatment my wife has to have blood tests before the chemotherapy, so applied online first thing in the morning at  07.00am.

On returning from having the blood tests, still no response from the system, so went straight to Lapta police station and got written permission without any problems.

However, on returning home (I haven’t got mobile data roaming) I found that electronic permissions had been granted!

We had to be at the hospital in Lefkosia by 08-30, so expected to be stopped at the checkpoints, but were waved through simply by saying we were going for chemotherapy.

Hopefully things will change soon.”

Life is never perfect and as our friend says “Hopefully things will change soon” and those receiving permission requests may struggle with English understanding or are just having  a bad day,  just like us when we struggle to understand some aspects of life in our adopted homeland..