E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Challenges in times of austerity (#593)

Nicolas Philippou 1
  1. The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends (PASYKAF), Nicosia, Cyprus

Background and Context: "The Cyprus Haircut"

In March 2013 Cyprus was broke!

For the first time in history there was a bail-in known as “The Haircut”. What this meant, was that all Bank Deposits above €100,000 in the two major Banks of the island were confiscated. The future for all, including “The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends (PASYKAF)” was uncertain. A social crime!

Aim: Providing Palliative Care Services to Cancer Patients in Cyprus

PASYKAF is an NGO dedicated to fighting cancer. With a multidisciplinary team of more than 50 health professionals we provide free services to more than 5000 patients and members of their family including Home Based Palliative Care Services.

PASYKAF depends 90% on fundraising activities. By March 2013 we had zero money and donations were drying up.  We were faced with the following 3 options:

  1. Cut Wages

  2. Cut Staff

  3. Cut Level of Care


  PASYKAF took two basic strategic realizations / decisions:

  1. this crisis was beyond each and every one of us individually so unity (joining forces) was imperative

  2. at these difficult times we would have to give more – not less

     Thus, yes to cutting wages, no to cutting staff or level of care

Programme/Policy Process:

We took immediately short term, intermediate and long term measures and most importantly reorganized our Fundraising Department, improved our procedures, introduced a new CRM System and implemented new HR Policies including new Performance Indicators for all services and functions with the aim to improve quality and productivity (all to be presented during the horal session)

Outcomes/What was learned:

For PASYKAF the challenge was to accept that the economic crisis was over. We had to reinvent ourselves in order to succeed. We owe it to all our patients, especially to end of life, who have the right to palliation and pain control.  


  1. ABC Australia, Foreign Correspondent "The Haircut" Broadcast: 30/04/2013 Reporter: Stephen Long PASYKAF reference (minutes 19:37-23:38) Copy the following link: http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2013/s3748481.htm