Members of the University of Cyprus’ senate denied claims on Thursday that the resignation of its medical school’s dean, Dr Zacharias Zachariou, was over his discontent that the educational institution did not back him on Monday when he was under fire from state doctors when he went to assume duties at the Makarios hospital.
According to senate members, Zachariou had submitted his resignation, which has been accepted, a lot earlier than Monday’s incident.
Media reports said on Thursday that the reason Zachariou provided was that the university did not back him during the tension caused by state doctors who had asked him to leave on Monday when he went to assume duties at the Makarios hospital’s paediatric surgery department as per the cooperation agreement signed between the health ministry and the university for the training of medical students.
“He submitted his resignation on October 5. The senate is to appoint a new temporary medical school dean on November 2,” a senate member told the Cyprus Mail, while refraining from making more comments.
The university’s medical school has been on the spotlight this week after doctors at the Makarios hospital went on a three-hour work stoppage on Monday after Zachariou, who went there to assume duties, refused to leave when he was asked to by medical staff.
State doctors said they find the cooperation agreement between the health ministry and the medical school to train medical students in public hospitals to be irregular as it was approved by the cabinet and not by parliament.
Following the work stoppage, the ministry and the medical school agreed in a meeting with both state doctors’ union Pasyki and the doctors’ branch of civil servants’ union Pasydy, to freeze their agreement until state doctors have time to submit their own proposals. The unions, whose main grievance are the terms regulating the presence of university doctors in state hospitals, are expected to submit their proposals on Friday.
Pasydy’s rep had raised an issue of state doctors being unfavourably treated due to this agreement and that there was also a huge difference in salaries as university doctors’ annual income will be more than three times that of state doctors.