Cyprus Mail

Paphos A&E doctors hold strike, cite “serious understaffing issues” (Updated)

Paphos hospital, doctors, work stoppage
Paphos A&E doctors' work stoppage in April

Health Minister Popi Kanari called the ongoing understaffing issues at the A&E department of the Paphos general hospital “unacceptable” following a three-hour work stoppage carried out by doctors working at the department on Thursday morning.

Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC, Kanari said the issues pushing the A&E staff to strike have existed for over a year.

“It does us no honour as a state to have these kinds of problems,” she said.

Kanari added that the responsibility for staffing public hospitals belongs to the state health service organisation (Okypy), the health ministry is doing everything it can to fill up as many positions as possible at the Paphos general.

“I have been informed that there is massive interest from health professionals to fill in the gaps at the hospital,” she said.

Following the work stoppage, which lasted from 9am until noon, the state doctors’ union Pasyki said the time requested by the authorities to find practical and feasible solutions regarding the severe understaffing of the department has been already granted.Paphos hospital, doctors, work stoppage

“Unfortunately, the only practical result experienced by the remaining doctors is yet another colleague’s resignation, while management is still pursuing an unsuccessful communicative pattern that has poisoned and eroded the foundations of public hospitals.

“The decisions to move doctors from other A&E departments of other public hospitals, as well as other particularly dangerous decisions taken by the state health services (Okypy) administrative board are devoid of logic from a medical point of view,” the statement said.

Banking on Pasyki’s statement, the Cyprus Medical Association said that Thursday’s work-stoppage was “the last available resort left to doctors to raise the alarm about the ongoing issues at the Paphos hospital’s A&E department.”

“For the umpteenth time it has been proven that when officials take administrative decisions concerning the practice of medicine, the opinions of doctors are not taken into account,” a statement released by the association said.

“That way, the problems are not only not resolved, but are exacerbated, resulting in issues not only for the health professionals but also for patients.”

Emergency personnel worked at the department during the work stoppage on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Okypy also assured the public that all necessary measures have been taken and that all medical positions at the hospital will be adequately staffed, ensuring that no patient is left without the necessary care.

“Our main goal is to ensure that patients with urgent medical needs are not left without assistance,” an Okypy statement said.

Furthermore, it said that new positions for doctors at the Paphos general hospital have been opened, and, upon completion of the selection process, the hospital will be permanently staffed.



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