Nurses union Pasyno, has not ruled out taking drastic measures in light of the latest attack on nursing staff in a state hospital.
“Enough, Pasyno can’t stand around with arms folded while its members are faced with dangers on a daily basis by the improper behaviour of patients who under the influence of alcohol and other substances or for whatever reason and are like bulls in a china shop and act violently against the nursing staff,” read the Pasyno statement.
The statement also claims that its Secretary General, Panayiotis Georgiou, was arrested and detained without reason on Monday.
Describing the police’s behaviour as ‘uncharacteristic and inexcusable’, Pasyno announced that insults levelled against Georgiou and any other member of the union only aids in torpedoing labour norms and good cooperation that benefit the patients.
Police arrested Georgiou at Limassol General Hospital on charges he insulted an officer, in an ugly incident which started hours earlier when an unruly patient began throwing things on the ground.
A 28-year-old man was brought into the Emergency Room at Limassol General around 5am on Monday and started a public commotion, according to police.
Media reports said the man was throwing items on the floor and he was finally subdued by a nurse on duty. A hospital security guard was also called to the scene.
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said an officer from the Polemidia station had been discussing the incident with nurses and hospital administrators, a few hours after the incident.
It was during that discussion that, according to Angelides, Georgiou had an exchange of words with the visiting police officer.
Georgiou, who also went to the hospital to see what had happened, was then arrested for insulting a police officer and causing public commotion.
Pasyno press officer Theodoros Petelis said the exchange of words started after the officer blamed nursing staff for the number of incidents at that particular hospital.
Georgiou told CNA that the police officer had launched a verbal attack, to which he responded in kind.
The Cyprus Weekly understands that Georgiou had raised safety issues in the past, pointing out that the police were not around when they were needed.
Health Minister George Pamboridis, who happened to be visiting Limassol for other issues, had a chance to be briefed on the incident.
A three hour work stoppage planned for Wednesday, scheduled since last week, is expected to cause a number of problems in state hospitals.
Pasyki state doctors union and Pasyno insist on having all employment issues settled before Pamboridis moves forward with health reform.
The health minister says autonomy of state hospitals, something which is not supported by the unions, is a prerequisite to improving and modernising public health.