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Cyprus

State doctors to cut down patient appointments

By George Psyllides

From Monday, state doctors will only examine up to 30 patients a day, as they try to pressure the state to satisfy their demands for more staff.

PASYKI, their union, said specialists will only examine up to 20 people a day, while GPs will see 30.

According to PASYKI chairman Sotiris Koumas, doctors current see between 40 and 50 patients each.

“The doctors’ concern is to provide quality health care to our fellow citizens,” he told the state broadcaster. “We tried to give what we could under the circumstances.”

Koumas accused the state of being indifferent to their pleas, as repeated called to resolve problems fell on deaf ears, they said.

“A patient may need 15 minutes, another may need 30 minutes,” he said. “And if a doctor works under pressure, at some point, they will make a mistake for which they will be solely responsible.”

Koumas said there will be delays since missed appointments will be rescheduled for the next day.

“We won’t see 50. This is not medicine and we won’t accept it. The solution is to staff hospitals,” he said. He said it was the patients who should be complaining.

Koumas said there was a risk there would not be any hospitals left to go autonomous as part of the implementation of the NHS.

“The hospitals are on their knees,” he added. “The employer is obliged to find ways to resolve this issue.”

But he left a window open not to go ahead with the action until April if the ministry showed good will and was prepared to enter a dialogue.

PASYKI opposes the implementation of a so-called mini NHS, announced recently by the health minister, ahead of full-blown scheme in three four years.

Giorgos Pamboridis’ plan is to create a scheme that would offer universal access to free healthcare at public hospitals only in exchange for a one per cent levy on all income.

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