State doctors working in the Emergency Room at Paphos General will start a rolling strike Thursday to protest working conditions, saying they are dangerously understaffed.
The commencement of the daily strike is set to take place Thursday, with week days hours from 12:30pm to 2:30pm, while on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, doctors will observe a work stoppage from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
Representatives of the striking doctors say the situation has boiled over and as a result, they argue, the lives of patients are in danger.
Representatives of the striking doctors say the situation has boiled over and as a result, they argue, the lives of patients are in danger
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.
Sources said the doctors had been frustrated with the Health Ministry, telling the media they have not yet even received a response to their letters. They reportedly wrote to the health minister, itemizing their problems one by one and calling for their immediate resolution. The doctors also say they are short on consumable medical supplies.
Government insists on reform
An ongoing reform effort in the public health sector is moving forward but not without criticism from a number of groups, including state doctors and nurses unions who say their particular circumstances are not being fully appreciated by the ministry.
The government favours core reforms in public health, primarily decentralizing state hospitals, which currently are overspending without being accountable according to ministry officials.
A health reform plan, which has been voted by the House and is already in initial stages of implementation, would offer incentives to doctors, nurses, and hospital administrations in return of cleaning house.
But if there are delays in reforming state hospitals, it may be a matter of time for them to fail under their current structure according to experts, who say public hospitals are already on the brink of collapse.