Nurses union Pasyno and civil servants union Pasydy have called on the authorities to take measures following incidents involving aggressive behaviour against nurses at accident and emergencies departments around Cyprus in recent months.

“This is not the first time nurses have been attacked in a vital department that works 24 hours a day and deals with patients with urgent health issues,” a joint statement released by the two unions on Wednesday said.

“We strongly condemn all forms of violence, verbal or physical, against nurses who are required to work under tremendous amounts of pressure.

“Despite the many efforts and calls by the unions for measures to protect nurses while performing their duties, the health ministry and the state health service (Okypy) not only turn a blind eye, but also downplay the issue.”

The unions added that the problems reported by nurses around the country can also be linked to the long waiting time for patients in A&E departments, “for which Okypy has not yet found solutions.”

“We can no longer tolerate the fact that nurses are threatened and abused while carrying out their duties, as much as we can no longer listen to empty promises made by the responsible bosies.

“Should similar incidents happen in the future, nurses will simply walk out of A&E departments,” the statement concluded.