It is worthy of comment that whilst in England the idea of profit making medicine is a dubious area ethically, and in America it rigorously governed pursuit under law with severe legal penalties.
In Cyprus they have a different approach that approximates more closely to "let the buyer beware."
There are two types of clinics.
1. Ithiki Klinikes – Specialist Clinics.
These institutions are small and not infrequently run by a single doctor with a cooking/cleaning staff who double as nurses provided the extent of your required care is eating boiled chicken and having your bed made..
These individuals will encourage you to address them as athelfi or sister despite both their total lack of training, hygiene or attention to your medical needs.
The word "specialist" should be viewed warily also. In Cyprus, car mechanics are Mercedes or Mitsubishi specialists, floor cleaners are specialist floor cleaners and doctors who scrape through their seven years basic training in Budapest and the subsequent three weeks in Athens are specialist cardio-thoracic surgeons if they so desire.
The law is content that they should remain so until the “specialist” realises that there is more profit in being a specialist paediatrician and changes career path.
2. Polykliniki – "Many clinics" literally, all rolled into one.
In these testimonials to medical malpractice, various numbers of doctors pass around patients in order to milk their insurance to the last penny. Their private ambulances (white vans with a stretcher in the back or else boasting a minimum of equipment that the unqualified drivers and their shrilankeza (female from Sri Lanka) or eastern European "nurses" will have no idea how to use roam the streets in search of prey, snapping up accident victims before the arrival of the better equipped state ambulances that boast qualified nurses with additional training for pre hospital care and trauma support but do not feel the need to cruise the streets in hungry packs.
A €50 per head inducement is offered routinely to bars and hotels for their calling them private ambulances first.
Patients are operated on without delay regardless of their diagnosis or state of health. Persons complaining of diarrhoea are usually deprived of their appendixes and referred to the specialist plastic surgeon for the scar, and later the specialist ophthalmic surgeon if they cannot see that they are being robbed blind.
If all the stress is too much, the specialist psychologist is always on hand with a Valium 5mg under a different name that will cost you a £150 consultation.
Recently clinics have taken to registering as private hospitals to fox the canny travellers who insist on being taken to the hospital - meaning the government hospital so remember to be specific in your demands so the ambulance staff cannot bezi belli (pretend to be stupid for their own gain).
Despite the massive quantities of meson employed by the klinikes and the notorious old-boy network that binds most doctors loyalties to their colleagues rather than their duties, qualified nurses are becoming a far more common phenomenon - but where they qualified God only knows.
Having said this, since the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scandal, the moral high ground from which one might have presumed to criticize further is now purely a memory of a different age. At least your Cypriot nurse cum cleaner will very likely have the compassion to stop you choking with thirst or else starving to death in your bed, even if she does perhaps lack skills in other clinical areas.
The general rule is that when the nice man with the dirty fingernails and the vast ego complex tells the cleaner to prep you for surgery for something that back home you would not have even visited your GP for, ask yourself exactly how he got his Mercedes 405 SEC at the age of thirty-five anyway, then report to the government hospital. Fly home if you must.