The death of a 10-year-old child last Friday, due to what has been perceived by many as medical negligence, caused a great deal of controversy, with two doctors under arrest and the government doctors’ union deciding to take strike action tomorrow Wednesday.
The Pancyprian Union of Government Doctors made a long announcement, blaming the tragic incident on inherent problems within the public health system, such as the absence of specialist doctors in public hospitals.
They mentioned what they characterised as the ‘unacceptable behaviour of the Director-General of the Ministry of Health and the Minister’, both of whom, as they claim, ‘in their effort to renounce their responsibilities for the downfall of public hospitals, use doctors as scapegoats’. Organised doctors also talked about ‘uncalled-for public humiliation’ of the accused doctors.
The Pancyprian Union of Government Doctors announced a two-hour strike, which will take place tomorrow from 10am to 12am. The union urged doctors to register their overtime in May in order to take legal action against the State on the basis of the Working Time Act. It also urged doctors to only examine 20 patients (for specialist doctors) and 30 patients (for general practitioners) per day.
The Minister of Health accused the doctors of shifting the blame and added that a new system to evaluate the doctors’ performance in public hospitals should be established.