State health organisation services Okypy on Friday condemned acts of violence “in particular against health professionals”, as A&E staff at Limassol general hospital staged a two-hour strike over an alleged recent attack against their colleague.

Any act of violence is reprehensible, Okypy spokesman Caralambos Charilaou told the Cyprus News Agency, referring to violence against health professionals “who are on the front line every day and save lives”.

He said it “saddens and worries us” that patients visiting the Accident and Emergency Departments “to save their lives”, instead of thanking the staff who are attending to them, assault and insult them.

“All this is unacceptable and a change of culture, mentality and attitude towards health workers is required,” he added.

The official was speaking after an incident at the Limassol hospital when an officer and a doctor were injured at around 1am on Thursday.

Following the incident, state doctors’ union Pasyki and nurses union Pasyno staged a two-hour work stoppage from 9am to 11am on Friday to condemn “the infliction of actual bodily harm on a doctor on duty at the A&E of the Limassol general hospital”.

At the time, the A&E was staffed with security personnel.

Pasyki had called on “all those responsible to finally assume their responsibilities towards A&E and public hospitals in general”.

According to a police announcement, an officer was called to the A&E after three people were reportedly causing a public nuisance.

The officer managed to distance the quarrelling people from each other, but the three young men, aged 25, 26, and 32, began swearing at him and a doctor on duty as they were leaving the area, police said.

The three men entered their vehicle and the officer attempted to arrest one of them but faced resistance. The driver of the vehicle began speeding off while the car door was open and the officer was leaning inside. The vehicle moved for about 90 meters before it came to a halt.

After the car was stopped, one of the young men allegedly attacked and punched the officer.

Reinforcements were called to the scene and all three suspects were arrested.

“We are convinced that justice will be served for the recent incident of violence that took place at the Limassol general hospital, and we hope that it will be that last act of violence towards a health professional on duty,” Okypy had said.

The organisation added that it takes “the necessary measures” for the safety of the medical, nursing, paramedical and other staff working in its hospitals.