Cyprus Mail

Doctors split over medical school strike action


THE doctors’ branch of the civil servants’ union Pasydy said on Monday that although they disagreed with the health ministry’s one-sided actions in cooperating with the University of Cyprus’ medical school, they would not support the decision of their Pasyki colleagues to go on a work stoppage on Wednesday.

State doctors’ union Pasyki announced that its members would go on a three-hour work stoppage on Wednesday from noon to 3pm after Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis threw its delegation out of a meeting last week that discussed collaboration between the Makarios children’s hospital and the University of Cyprus medical school.

Pasyki said its board decided to stage the strike in “response to the humiliating act by the health minister towards the competent union of state doctors”. Pamboridis had justified his decision by saying the union had not even been invited as the agenda did not concern them.

The ministry and the university are cooperating over the training of medical students in state hospitals. Makarios hospital in Nicosia is the first to receive medical students from the school.  Pamboridis, who visited the hospital last month, said that medical students were expected to begin their clinical practice at the beginning of September.

A bill regulating the cooperation between public hospitals and the University of Cyprus’ medical school is expected to be completed within the next couple of months.

As regards the meeting, Pasyki chief Soteris Koumas had said that the minister’s excuse was that it was departmental, but that a document tabled before participants included proposals that violated labour rights and the professional standing of doctors working in state hospitals.

Pasydy said in its announcement that a crisis was about to surface in state hospitals following the insistence of Pamboridis “to unilaterally implement the agreement in question”.

“The board of the (doctors) branch reiterates that most of the provisions of the agreement seriously impinge institutional and legal obstacles and stresses once more that any hasty implementation of the agreement will inevitably lead to conflicts in key areas of public health,” the announcement said.

It added that it protested strongly that unions were not invited to last week’s meeting.

“At the same time, we want to stress that we do not support the work stoppage announced by Pasyki, because, in our view, it will not contribute to facing effectively this serious issue, so we believe that second thoughts must prevail,” it said.

Pasydy called on Pamboridis to immediately proceed to a “substantial dialogue with all stakeholders, aimed at reaching commonly accepted regulations for ensuring the smooth operation of state hospitals”.

“We are ready for any cooperation with the medical school of the University of Cyprus,” it said.


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