The number of Gesy doctors is on the rise with specialists now surpassing 700, it emerged on Tuesday, though acutely understaffed public hospital A&E departments remain overcrowded.
By 3pm on Monday, a total of 1,219 doctors were registered with Gesy, of which 702 were specialists, 390 GPs and 127 paediatricians.
Gesy now offers doctors across all medical specialisations, apart from allergology, while just one cytologist is currently available on the Gesy list, HIO figures show. Cardiologists now total 85, while there are 58 obstetricians-gynecologists. There are also 20 available dermatologists, and four paediatric cardiologists.
Services to Gesy have also been offered by 56 general surgeons, 11 neurosurgeons, 28 ophthalmologists, 48 orthopedics, and a rising number of pulmonologists and ENT doctors who by Wednesday totalled 29 and 21 respectively.
Numbers are expected to rise further as a number of contracts have still to be processed by the HIO.
The implementation of Gesy has however left a dent in public hospital A&E departments which are primarily staffed by pathologists, a wave of whom have chosen to open up private practices as GPs under Gesy rather than stay in their state jobs, as signing on to Gesy has proven more financially lucrative for them.
A visitor to the Nicosia general hospital A&E department on Tuesday told the Cyprus Mail: “It’s a third-world situation. There were 100 people waiting for emergency care but only one doctor.”
“You could die,” she added.
Out of the 21 doctors that initially staffed the A&E department, only six are left and two of those are also leaving soon, she said, according to what one doctor there told her.
After members of state doctors union Pasyki staged a 24-hour strike at A&E departments island-wide earlier in the month over acute understaffing issues, assurances were given by the health ministry and the state health services (Okypy) that the issues were to be promptly resolved, though it appears that steps have yet to be taken.
At the time, Pasyki said that remaining A&E doctors have been working without a break for months which puts burnt-out doctors at risk of making medical errors.