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From the appointment of Agathangelos, to the protests and problems in hospitals

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Απo τον διορι σμo Αγαθαγγeλου, στις διαμαρτυ ρiες και τα προβλorματα στα νοσοκ ομεi&alpha?

A year that had everything, 2022 can be considered for the Health sector, since during its duration the chronic problems of public hospitals were found to a more intense degree. This happened for a number of reasons, which mainly have to do with the maturation of the great reform of the GESY, secondly with the recession of the pandemic, which restored normal rhythms in public and private hospitals  and thirdly, with the fact that it started to run out the patience of all those who in recent years have been carrying public health on their backs.

Besides, during this year the decisions of the Ministry of Health endangered the regular operation of the Health Insurance Organization, which went through a turbulent period full of confrontations and conflicts for the first time since the General Health System entered the everyday life of citizens. And indeed a turbulent period that was artificially caused by the Minister's own decisions, in collaboration with the PIS.

The other major crisis was the one that hit the Makarios Hospital after the decision to make the hospital's doctors available, among them the Director of the Pediatric Clinic, while at the same time serious issues were presented to the Accident and Emergency Departments, since due to the shortages, incidents of violence against nursing and medical staff were recorded. Therefore, on the occasion of the problems in the TAEP of public hospitals, protests and work stoppages could not be missed, with those involved urgently demanding solutions to the unresolved problems to this day.

The appointment of Agathangelos and the irreconcilability of Thomas Antoniou

From the review of what happened in 2022 in the health sector, the incomprehensible decision of the Minister of Health, Michalis Hatzipandela, to forward to the Council of Ministers the recommendation of the KEBE for the appointment of the president of the Pancypriot Medical Association, Dr. Petrou Agathangelou, as a member of the Board of Directors of the OAU.

The appointment of Mr. Agathangelos brought strong reactions to various health agencies, who consider the president of the PIS as an opponent of the Health System, while his appointment to the Board of Directors was characterized by many as a Trojan Horse, to attack the GESY. That is, the Golden Horse of all those who insist in recent years, although they are a small minority to change the philosophy of GESY. Besides, Mr. Agathangelou himself never hid his positions, since he himself was the leader of those who fought the GESY, even asking the members of the PIS not to join the System.

The intense reactions brought about by the Hatzipantela decision and the voices from various bodies, combined with the letter of resignation of the former president of the OAU, Thomas Antoniou, forced the President of the Republic to intervene, so that the KBE proposal was withdrawn.

And although it seemed that an end would be given to the thriller that had endangered the peace between the health sector bodies, the KEBE did withdraw the proposal, but it raised an irreconcilable issue for the president of the Board of Directors of the OAU, who he was at the helm of the Organization for a decade and took part in all the occasional consultations before and after the GESY era.

After about a month, the Incompatibilities Committee decided that there was an issue of incompatibility for the president of the OAU , since his wife is contracted to GESY. The conclusion of the finding left no room for President Anastasiades, who then accepted Mr. Antonio's resignation. The position of the chairman of the board of directors has since been taken over by  Stavros Michael.

It may be that since September, the case has disappeared from the sphere of public debate, however even today there remains a question mark as to the way the Minister of Health thought, in order to indicate Mr. Agathangelos as a member of the Board of Directors of the OAU, while he was known to pass, that would bring reactions. However, Mr. Hatzipantela insisted – even recently – that he did not expect that the appointment of Mr. Agathangelos would create so many reactions.

Makarios doctors available

< p>On the occasion of the sad news of the death of 15-year-old Ioanna Skordis, who died last March at the Makarios Hospital and the investigations conducted by the authorities, following a complaint by her family for medical negligence, the Public Service Commission decided as two doctors of the hospital remain off duty.

This decision brought reactions not only from the medical staff, who, wanting to show their support for the doctors, proceeded to spontaneous mobilizations, but also from parents of children who considered the doctors' availability unfair, who in fact through letters requested the immediate intervention of the Minister of Health. Mr. Hadjipantela was content to place new doctors at the hospital, which also brought backlash from parents, who doubted the abilities of the new doctors and considered the available doctors more suitable for their children, since they knew enough about their health history. .

An end to the doctors' adventure was given after they appealed to the Court of Justice… By decision of the Administrative Court, the two doctors returned to their duties, since there was no reason to worry about possible influence on the investigative work on the case of little Ioanna, given that the files are before the Principles.

In this case, Mr. Hatzipantela  seems to have kept his distance from the medical staff, who urgently requested his intervention to put an end to the possible injustice, while various circles report that the doctors were suspended in retaliation, after their statements about the situation that prevails in the infrastructure of the Makarios Hospital.

Problems, attacks and protests about the TAEP

The Minister of Health also keeps his distance from the problems plaguing the public hospitals choosing to turn a blind eye  to the voices and suggestions of patients, medical and nursing staff who brought to the fore many times the various issues that arise.

Understaffing is one of the issues that make public hospitals, especially the Accident and Emergency Departments, inaccessible to citizens despite the fact that they supported and continue to support the General Health System. The long wait at peak hours in the TAEP of public hospitals, combined with the lack of staff, have led to dozens of incidents of violence and attacks by patients or visitors to the Departments against the staff.

The dozens of attacks, as has been said many times by the agencies involved, are no longer isolated incidents, but everyday life for the nurses and doctors, who brought back the need for further policing, as a deterrent method, even proceeding to protests at times leaving their posts for a few hours.

The inaction of the Ministry of Health during the year, in making immediate decisions, not only regarding the protection of staff but more in realizing that understaffing is the beginning of the chain of issues that arise, lead the health sector to an uncertain future, since it is unheard of for a European country that there are serious shortages, that the appropriate infrastructure does not exist or is not being created and that the hospitals are run down.

Nevertheless, the months passed and a month that is left to Mr. Hatzipantela to see the serious issues affecting the health sector, is not enough, therefore the next minister will shoulder the burden of responsibility to restore public hospitals and the health sector in general the image which they should have in a European state.

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Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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