Nurses at Nicosia general hospital staged an unscheduled work stoppage early on Friday in protest at what they termed Okypy’s ‘authoritarian’ behaviour which they said affects the operation of the state hospitals.
The stoppage, which occurred between 8.30 am and 9.30am, was called by the nurses’ branch of public servants union Pasydy.
In an announcement after the work stoppage, the union said the action was in protest at the “unacceptable, extremist and authoritarian behaviour” of the state health services organisation Okypy.
The union said Okypy is “unilaterally” imposing positions and refusing to previously hold discussions with the health professionals and consider their suggestions.
“Our goal is to ensure a healthy and appropriate working environment that is governed by mutual respect and appreciation for everyone’s contribution,” the union said.
Okypy’s spokesman Charalambos Charilaou said the organisation had started “an extremely difficult effort” to secure some wards in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol for the treatment of coronavirus cases.
He said the when daily cases fell the organisation decided to treat other patients in those wards in a return to “normal operation” of the hospitals.
Some 350 patients were treated at the Nicosia general hospital for other health conditions apart from coronavirus, while a similar situation occurred in Limassol general hospital, according to Charilaou.
“An additional difficulty is that due to the summer season the staff started taking leave,” Charilaou told Alpha.
At this stage, no holiday requests have been turned down, but Charilaou said that “leave will be revoked if necessary”.
On Friday, 107 patients were being treated with coronavirus in state hospitals, including 11 in ICU. Okypy had previously said there was a capacity for about 300 Covid patients.
The head of the Cyprus medical association Soteris Koumas told the media that a Covid patient had to wait for hours to be transferred to the appropriate ward. The incident occurred at Nicosia general hospital, but similar problems are happening in Limassol, he said.
The doctor suggested that Okypy must reassess its plan for the state hospitals and the handling of coronavirus cases.
A similar argument was made by the state doctors’ union Pasyki in a written statement.
Pasyki noted that “arrogance and complacency” have no place in medicine and that any plans announced “can only be named as such once they actually work and when the readiness of infrastructure is proven in practice and not assurances”.