Union doctors in the Emergency Rooms of state hospitals went on strike on Tuesday morning, with the government crying foul and saying the move is unwarranted.
ER physicians who are members of the Pasyki state doctors trade union went on a 24-hour strike on Tuesday morning, effective from 7am until 7am Wednesday, to protest what they describe as short staffing in the emergency rooms.
The doctors say up to 16 colleagues have left the Emergency units without administrators assigning any replacements, except buying services from 4-5 doctors on a quarterly basis.
The minister said measures presented by doctors have been either adopted or streamlined in an effort to 'fill gaps' wherever necessary
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has taken a position against the strike, describing it as unwarranted. Ioannou, who held consultations with Pasyki, said measures presented by the doctors had been either adopted or streamlined in an effort to “fill gaps” wherever necessary.
But reports said Pasyki doctors are determined to escalate their measures, citing concerns over security at the workplace and colleagues being overworked for months. But the work of their colleagues from Pasydy union is reportedly not being affected by the strike.
Pasyki doctors also say that the newly-installed health system, dubbed as GESY, is not functioning properly. Union officials argue that private doctors end up not serving their patients appropriately, which is causing state emergency rooms that are understaffed to become overcrowded with non-emergency patients.
The health minister says the government is already moving forward with corrective measures, adding that the only proposal offered by Pasyki as a countermeasure during a Saturday meeting was security at the workplace, something which has been adopted by both the ministry and the Health Insurance Organization.
Ioannou also added that a task force committee is being formed, including directors of ER units and other experts, so that all problems can be examined and a comprehensive restructuring can take place.