A new proposal on incentives for public sector specialists will be submitted to state doctors’ unions in the coming days, the state health services organisation (Okypy) said on Wednesday as one union threatened measures if no agreement was reached soon.
The doctors’ branch of civil servants’ union Pasydy warned earlier this week that unless an agreement was reached on incentives to state specialists by May 25, they would consider taking measures.
The incentives are aimed at keeping specialists in state hospitals that have seen a surge in departures when many physicians opted to open practices in the private sector since their income there under Gesy payouts would be much higher than if they remained state doctors.
Pasydy doctors said that they were expecting a proposal earlier in the month aimed at reaching a deal by May 25. The doctors had also pointed out that time was running out, since the second phase of Gesy – the introduction of inpatient care is due to roll out on June 1.
They said consultations started almost a year ago and blamed Okypy, which runs state hospitals, for stalling the process.
Okypy spokesperson Charalambos Charilaou told the Cyprus Mail that consultations had been interrupted due to the coronavirus crisis but they resumed recently and that a new proposal would be sent to the unions in the coming days.
He pointed out that the unions had rejected several proposals already. “We hope a consensus will be reached,” Charilaou said. He added that Okypy sees state doctors as its “closest associates.”
He also said that after the flight of doctors from state hospitals, Okypy acted promptly by hiring 112 physicians, while another five had assumed duties amidst the pandemic, and 12 more were expected to arrive from Greece as part of a repatriation scheme for Cypriots abroad. He also said that at the moment, interviews are being carried out to fill 27 positions while the latest announcement for 30 more positions expired just last week.
Another state doctors’ union, Pasyki, stressed its concern over the level of preparedness of state hospitals for the second phase of Gesy citing problems in state hospitals that have not been solved by Okypy and the special conditions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The state doctors’ unions had said last December after a three-hour stoppage by Pasyki that they expected a proper solution to this issue since it would lessen the pay gap between private and public sectors and would help keep specialist doctors in state hospitals.
At the time Okypy had suggested incentives between €1,000 and €1,500 extra per month on top of doctors’ salaries and other benefits but unions said this was way beneath their expectations.
According to a study commissioned last year by Pasyki, on average, state specialists earn €69,254 gross (between €60,000 and €85,000 depending on their pay scale) while private specialists receive on average €90,763 gross, only for outpatient care.