State emergency doctors went on strike Tuesday morning for three hours citing staff shortages and other issues, with state officials crying foul over the work stoppage and accusing union bosses of misinforming the public.
Members of PASYKI state doctors union walked out Tuesday morning at 9am for three hours to protest what they called staff shortages in Accident and Emergency Departments in the last few months.
PASYKI president Sotiris Koumas told state radio on Tuesday that representatives from the union would attend a meeting at the health ministry later in the day, saying “this is a sign that the honorable health minister understands there is a problem.”
“We cannot safely operate emergency departments in understaffed conditions, what with the extra workload due to Covid and everything else” Koumas said.
Charilaou said the problems were being exacerbated by administrative shortfalls, singling out the emergency departments at the state hospitals of Limassol and Paphos
But state officials have accused the union of violating labor principles, saying there was no specific basis for the work stoppage.
State Health Services Organization (OKYPY) spokesperson Charalambos Charilaou, who was a also a guest on state radio, rejected figures provided by Koumas, with the official saying the numbers were misleading due to summer vacations.
“We should not expect a strike since we have been dealing with the problems already,” Charilaou said, adding that the work stoppage had no basis and “could also be in violation of labor law.”
But PASYKI doctors say they have been pulling long shifts in the 18 to 24 hour range, with previous statements also pointing to a lack of safety in Emergency departments at state hospitals.
OKYPY has admitted that the coronavirus pandemic had put pressure on medical staff but Charilaou said the union was aware of all the upgraded measures taken by OKYPY to improve work conditions as well as services provided.
Charilaou also said the problems were being exacerbated by administrative shortfalls, singling out the emergency departments at the state hospitals of Limassol and Paphos.
PASYKI members have carried out similar strikes in the past.