Nurses’ unions and the state health services organisation (Okypy) decided on Monday that they would reconvene on June 6 to continue their deliberations over understaffing.

In statements after the three-hour meeting, head of the nurses’ branch of Pasydy union Prodromos Argyridis said that during the meeting a reassessment of the letters sent by Okypy was made and it was agreed that they would be put before the board of directors of the organisation for approval, which will meet on May 30.

“With the approval of the letters, the decisions will begin to be implemented,” he said, adding, however, that “substantial results” in relation to the need for nurses “are unlikely to be achieved for the time being”.

He also said that a new meeting between the two sides has been set for next week, on June 6, during which “we will work out alternative ways to be able to partially cover the needs that exist for nurses.”

Argyrides said that the scenarios for next week’s meeting are “to look at how the clinics are working and see how staff savings can be made from one department to another or how beds can be managed”.

After postponing strike measures last week, nurses unions Pasydy and Pasyno met officials from Okypy to try and find solutions to long-standing problems, the biggest of which is understaffing.

Leading trade unions SEK and PEO, and the Cyprus Association of Nurses and Midwives (Pasynm), have said no deviation from the law or EU directives will be accepted in efforts to solve the problem.

In a joint statement after a meeting on Monday morning, they said the state should take measures to protect the professions and invest in them, with an aim to improve the health system.

They also agreed that any talk of hiring nurses from third countries should include Pasynm and that imported staff should meet the same training requirements as local and EU nurses.