Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has issued a public response to state union doctors in Paphos going on rolling strikes, pointing out inconsistencies in their position.
State doctors working in the Emergency Room at Paphos General started going on a rolling strike Thursday to protest working conditions, saying they were dangerously understaffed.
Sources said the doctors from Pasyki union were frustrated with the Health Ministry, telling the media they never received a response to their letters in which they reportedly told the minister about an array of problems and calling for their immediate resolution.
Ioannou said a plan had been put in place whereby medical doctors would be hired on a short time basis, adding that unions had been aware of the effort
But the office of the health minister said they never received such a letter, and instead it was discovered that a letter had been addressed to the Paphos General Hospital administration but included different information regarding possible strike action.
Ioannou acknowledged that there had been Emergency Rooms in different cities that were short on staff due to colleagues taking a leave of absence. A plan had been put in place, the minister said, whereby additional medical doctors would be hired on a short time basis to deal with the problem, adding that unions had been aware of the effort.
October's Paphos staff shortages had been resolved
But the minister also said the administration at Paphos General reassured the government that the situation where two doctors on a medical leave of absence were causing staff shortages in October, had been resolved.
The union announced their strike one day following a staff resolution plan being put in place at Nicosia General’s Emergency Room. Knews understands, according to the minister, that the letter sent to Paphos General’s administration listed different claims and conditions of possible strikes unrelated to the short staff resolution plan.
“What is most shocking of all is the change in how Pasyki now approaches issues, which goes against an honest and good faith approach that had been observed up until recently,” the minister said.
He also questioned the logic of union doctors asking for new positions to be opened at the Paphos ER while there is already an approved post which still remains vacant.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, there are ten medical doctors currently staffing the ER at Paphos General Hospital on a weekly basis, while the strikers say there should be at least thirteen in order to carry out the full schedule.
The government will reportedly examine the request “even though there has never been a time when 13 doctors were serving at the Paphos Emergency Room,” the minister said.