In the past few days, referrals for CT scans and other radiological or laboratory tests have multiplied dangerously. X-rays arrive in their hundreds at radiology departments. ER departments are more crowded than usual, since the incidents are not handled promptly, because of the ‘defensive medicine’ that physicians have decided to practice at the instigation of their union, but also because of the general insecurity of health professionals and patients after his tragic death of a 10-year-old child last week. Yesterday’s two-hour strike by physicians railing against the ‘public humiliation’ of the doctors arrested for the case of the 10-year-old’s death, created an even bigger disorder in hospitals. The situation is particularly difficult in Larnaca, where two doctors have quit their job at the ER department. There are, reportedly, not enough doctors to even plan shifts.
Meanwhile, the Cyprus Medical Association and the Pancyprian Union of Government Doctors gave a press conference submitting 13 requests and warning that they plan to escalate their actions, if necessary. Amongst others, they request what they call ‘decriminalization of the medical act’ and the drafting of service plans and physician task lists. There is, however, reaction within the medical community as departments of the Paphos Hospital did not participate in the strike along with the branch of doctors in the Pancyprian Public Servants’ Trade Union.
The Health Ministry will respond with a press conference at 11 AM today.