WHILE state doctors union Pasyki on Thursday criticised Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou for targeting doctors at the emergency department of Paphos hospital the minister hit back at the union, rejecting the allegations.
The spat started with a remark Ioannou made on Wednesday, when he said doctors at the hospital reported they left because they were bullied by colleagues, but this has not been proven.
He said these were issues to be dealt with by the state health service organisation (Okypy) and urged the service to conduct its own investigation and find out if there were issues with unethical behaviour.
“The minister of health yesterday in his appearances on television, in the absence of other arguments, unjustly and deliberately without presenting any evidence, targeted yet again the doctors employed at the A&E department of Paphos, following a report by the health committee on alleged ‘bullying’ among doctors in this department,” Pasyki retorted.
According to the union, the minister should have investigated the matter.
“We would like to remind everyone that a whole month has elapsed since these statements were made and therefore the services and bodies headed by the esteemed minister should, in light of their duties and responsibilities, have already investigated the matter.”
In its statement, the union questioned whether the issue had received the necessary attention and if it was looked into. “If so, what is the conclusion? If not, who is responsible for this?”
Ioannou, in his reply to Pasyki, said he was very surprised by the union’s interpretation of his statements. He reminded the union that it was the state health service organisation which was responsible for public hospitals.
“It is well known that the organisation has its own board of directors and management teams which are in charge and responsible for the autonomy of public hospitals,” he said.
The bullying allegations are already being investigated by the competent authority, Okypy, he added, after an official complaint by the doctors was filed.
He asked the union, which, he said “with particular warmth and on every occasion attacks me,” has itself taken to investigate their colleagues complaints.
“Have they been informed by those involved? And if so what have they done or do they intend to do?”
It is the duty of everybody, including Pasyki, to detect bad practices in public hospitals and correct them, creating at the same time a protective shield for the health professionals working there,” he concluded.