Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Health

Public health at risk with NHS delay, says medical association

By Andria Kades

PUBLIC health is threatened by the current state of affairs in the health service, described as tragic and dangerous by the Cyprus Medical Association (PIS).

“The only way to rid ourselves of the serious problems and dangers we face on a daily basis that threaten the life and health of our fellow citizens, which are the most important things, is to properly implement a functional, well studied and sustainable National Health Scheme,” the PIS said in a statement.

Although they commended efforts by health minister Phillippos Patsalis to submit a draft NHS bill that would allow for the autonomy of public hospitals, they believe there is a need for more discussions with social partners so that it reflects on the needs of citizens and safeguards health professionals.

After a meeting earlier this week with health service related unions, the PIS’ stance was that the autonomy of public hospitals is necessary to successfully implement the NHS but it has unfortunately taken too long.

They did, however, stress that “in no circumstance should any medical employee or staff at the public health service be sacrificed while the system is reorganised and autonomy that will follow,” and added that they believe medical workers should be represented on the board of directors running the hospitals.

“In the rational autonomy of a hospital, we believe that medical employees should be in the hospital’s board of directors as according to our studies this practice boosts their productivity.”

The plan is that the bill will be voted before the summer break and have hospitals working autonomously by the first day of 2016. Unions have been protesting of an increased workload amidst a shortage of staff, lack of hospital beds, medicine and a dysfunctional system as well as demands they say should be introduced before the NHS is implemented.

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