State doctors’ union (Pasyki) lambasted state health services organisation (Okypy) in a scathing statement issued on Monday calling for targeted action to ensure the viability of public hospitals.

The union said Okypy has failed to manage public hospitals and is unable to assign responsibility and pursue action, insisting on not understanding the nature of these institutions.

“Because of this, public hospitals have been downgraded, dragging the professional name of doctors and other health officials into the mire as a result,” the union claimed.

It referred to recent statements by Health Minister Popi Kanari concerning conditions at the Limassol general hospital, and the Nicosia general hospital’s A&E department.

After visiting hospitals with President Nikos Christodoulides, Kanari had said she would focus on incorporation of private hospital A&E units into Gesy to ensure at least one private A&E in each district.

Resurfacing reports, among others of negligence towards elderly patients and stalled ambulance licensing, have plagued the image of public hospitals.

In its statement Pasyki said the union feels vindicated by Christodoulides’ recent statements, since everything it had repeatedly warned about has now been officially acknowledged.

After visiting Limassol hospital, Christodoulides said “There are problems, serious ones”.

Simple excuses are not enough, Pasyki said, and “the state bears responsibility […] for insisting on a specific reform model and absence of supervision, certain insurance mechanisms, and accountability,” the union said.

Neither can the health insurance organisation (HIO) be let off the hook, the union continued, since its actions and decisions have affected and continue to affect the financial viability of Gesy and by extension that of public hospitals.