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Cyprus

State doctors on three-hour work stoppage (updated)

The scheduled three-hour work stoppage of state doctors on Wednesday morning has put on hold surgeries and other appointments, but anti-coronavirus vaccinations continue.

State doctors’ union Pasyki and doctors, members of Pasydy, proceeded with a work stoppage in public hospitals and health centres between 8 and 11am, despite a “productive” meeting with Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas the previous night.

Explaining the reasons behind the strike, Pasyki’s president Sotiris Koumas reiterated the trade union’s announcement, referring to “absence, authoritarianism, disrespect and insults” by Okypy (state health services organisation), who allegedly did not honour their contract.

Koumas also said the doctors failed to receive a specific amount of money, on top of their monthly salary, which was agreed upon with the organisation.

In response, Okypy’s spokesman Charalambos Charilaou said the amount corresponds to approximately €100 per doctor and said that was not a reason to inconvenience the patients.

The work stoppage affected scheduled doctors’ appointments islandwide, with Charilaou saying that people who had an appointment during the three hours should contact the state hospitals to reschedule.

Operations were also postponed, including seven at the Nicosia general hospital, despite patients having already being admitted to the hospital pending their operation early on Wednesday.

The strike is backed by the Cyprus medical association, and state nurses’ union Pasyno.

CMA called on Okypy to “assume its responsibilities” and proceed with a discussion “to resolve the long-standing problems that plague public hospitals”. The association also explained that better working conditions for doctors result in an “improvement of the level of medical services offered to patients”.

In their statement early on Wednesday, Pasyno said they had also pointed out the lack of cooperation between Okypy and the unions in the past and had made numerous suggestions that fell on deaf ears.

“We believe that the patients, the services and the health system pay for every day that passes without the problems being solved,” Pasyno said.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry spokeswoman Margarita Kyriakou clarified that vaccinations are proceeding as normal, and the administration of the third dose of the anti-coronavirus jab continues on Wednesday at the walk-in centres for people aged 83 and over.

The ministry explained that vaccinations for people aged 80 and older will start in the coming days, due to the high demand for the current age group.

On Monday, 1,706 people received the third jab, and another 1,441 on Tuesday, Kyriakou said.

 

 

 

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