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Neonatal nurses protest over understaffing at Makarios hospital (Updated)

demo nurses 04
Nurses out in protest on Thursday (Christos Theodorides)

Nursing staff at Makarios hospital’s Neonatal intensive care unit on Thursday demonstrated outside parliament over severe staffing shortages.

The nurses, members of Pasyno union, complained while a debate was underway at the House health committee regarding the problems faced by the unit.

According to the general-secretary of Pasyno, Panayiotis Georgiou, there are 90 nurses positions for this unit in the organisational chart, however, only 80 have been filled. He noted that some of the nurses are absent on long-term leave or on leave without pay.

At the same time, he raised the issue of mismanagement on the part of the state health organisation (Okypy).

Georgiou pointed out that although there is an agreement for staffing the unit, he noted that it has not entered into force, while the representative of the unit’s nurses, Christoforos Tembriotis, said that the solution to the problem lies in the recruitment of additional staff.

The president of the nurses’ branch of Pasydy union, Prodromos Argyrides, also pointed out that despite the fact that an agreement was reached with Okypy to reinforce the unit with nursing staff on the basis of specific numbers, this agreement has not been implemented.

Argyrides argued that if Okypy had procedures for the immediate replacement of the ten members of staff who retired, and if it had initiated procedures to replace their colleagues who are absent on sick and maternity leave, they would not be in parliament.

Meanwhile, in his statements after the meeting, the chairman of the House health committee, Efthimios Diplaros, stated that no newborn was at risk for the time being since the level of services provided was very high and the training of medical and nursing staff excellent.

He added that the House health committee would closely monitor the timetable that Okypy would submit in two weeks, in order to contribute where and when it can legally.

Okypy has stated that all international standards are met and that the number of nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit is sufficient.

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