State doctors and nurses on Monday said they were on board with an idea pitched by their union, Pasydy, on expanding the working hours of public hospitals but made clear that workers’ rights should be respected.
Civil servants’ union Pasydy last week sent parliament a note suggesting the extension of public hospitals’ working hours so that they could compete with the private sector and also asked for staff seminars to help them change the civil service mindset as regards offering healthcare services.
The union said the extension of the working hours of public hospitals so that they can compete with the private sector ones that also operate under Gesy was imperative. This change, however, should be made with respect to the employment terms of the staff, the union said.
Pasydy alco called for a change in the mindset of public hospitals so that they start attracting customers, which is something they were not used to prior to the introduction of Gesy since they were used to offering their services to public healthcare beneficiaries. To achieve this, the union suggests seminars to all staff that comes in contact with patients.
Pasydy also stressed there was lack of coordination between state health services organisation Okypy that runs public hospitals and the hospitals’ management. It also pointed out the bad condition of infrastructure in state hospitals that makes them unappealing to patients.
The union proposed a campaign to improve the image of public hospitals among the public and make them an attractive choice for healthcare services.
The representatives of nurses’ and doctors’ branches of Pasydy said they were on board with extending hospitals’ working hours.
Head of the doctors’ Pasydy branch, Agathocles Christophides, told Astra radio that this way, more people could be served. He said that, initially, this would be on a voluntary basis but in case this arrangement becomes permanent, the number of medical staff must be doubled to be able to meet the needs.
The head of the nurses’ branch, Prodromos Argyrides, too told Astra they were on board and that public hospitals ought to offer the same services as the ones in the private sector. Argyrides said, however, that any changes must be in line with the staff’s labour rights.