By Evie Andreou
HOSPITALS will continue to operate during the 12-hour strike that the nurses union PASYNO announced for Monday and Tuesday, the health ministry said on Friday.
PASYNO said it will stage the strike due to hospital understaffing, lack of information as regards the announced hospital autonomy and the government’s delay in commencing a dialogue with the union as regards the equation of nursing school qualifications with university degrees.
The union, which counts more than 1,300 members – around half the state hospitals’ nursing staff – had announced earlier in the month it would join the strike announced by PASYDY’s nursing branch out of solidarity, but called it off after the latter decided not to go through with it following a meeting with Health minister Giorgos Pamporidis.
PASYNO board member Christos Christodoulou told the Cyprus Mail the strike will mainly affect the Paphos, Limassol, Paralimni and Nicosia’s Makarion hospitals, as most of the nursing staff there are members of the specific union.
He added that the strike will affect scheduled appointments and surgeries.
“We will leave no urgent cases unattended, though,” Christodoulou said. He added that ‘safety groups’ have been designated to attend urgent cases.
Christodoulou said that as regards the recognition of degrees of the nursing staff as being of university level, the union at the moment does not demand the salary upgrades that go with it but the commencement of a procedure to discuss this and other relevant issues.
“Our duties, for instance. At the moment our job description says ‘general duties’, which is so vague,” he said.
Health ministry spokesperson Maria Lantidou told the Cyprus Mail that during the strikes all ICUs and dialysis units will operate properly.
She added that actions have been taken aiming to deal with any problems that may arise.