The state doctors union Pasyki slammed the state health services organisation (Okypy) on Tuesday over their decision to impose penalties on doctors if certain financial goals are not reached.
In a statement Pasyki said Okypy is damaging the very foundations of state hospitals “for the unprecedented proposal to punish doctors financially.”
“The fact that we need to reach certain financial goals not to be fined makes us feel ‘imprisoned’, that should not be the way things are,” the statement continued.
Pasyki also said it has noticed an effort by the state to remove acquired benefits, “which were granted based on agreements signed by the minister of health himself.”
“This is of particular concern to us, it is blatant violation of labour relations that, if accepted and enforced, will have serious consequences for all employees.
“The actions taken by Okypy were taken with the aim of reaching administrative and economic autonomy, but, so far, we have seen no benefits or advantages for us and the responsibility for this falls on the board of directors. At present, the only thing that unfortunately shows is the particular regression.
“Unfortunately, if things do not change, the negative effects we are feeling will be felt by our patients too.”
Pasyki spokesperson Lampros Amarthes said public sector hospitals cannot be treated like a business.
“The agreement in place between Pasyki and Okypy aims to stabilise the system of public sector hospitals and prevent doctors from leaving and joining the private sector,” he told Cyprus Mail.
“In order for that to happen the agreement was to offer incentives to doctors in the form of pay rises or to clinics and wards in the form of bonuses.
“However, in the last communication we had with Okypy, they added a clause stating that if an organisation does not reach the goals set, not only doctors and clinics will not receive bonuses, but they’ll be imposed penalties. This is unacceptable, not even private hospitals would accept such conditions,” Amarthes said.
He added that productivity in medicine is strictly related to the quality of the service and therefore it cannot be judged as in any other business.
“It’s the nature of the job. If we see double the number of patients, we will inevitably spend less time with each of them. It’s not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of quality.”
Pasyki called on the government to review the agreements made regarding the management of state hospitals and to take action and change them to protect its doctors.