A long-standing demand, the channeling into the labor market of graduate midwives, has now been fulfilled after the creation of a variety of obstetric study programs in Cyprus and abroad, but the market no longer offers places for new midwives.
For years, the relevant legislation, which provides for the staffing of obstetrics and gynecology units of private hospitals with a fixed number of midwives, depending on the beds, is constantly postponed, due to the lack of midwives.
The last postponement is valid until 31/12/2017 and for the time being it is unknown whether its implementation will be extended again, as the Ministry of Health expects to count the exact number of midwives available in December, when the issue will go back to Parliament.
The caesareans are cut
According to the director of Nursing Services of the ministry, Andrea Xenofontos, there are a number of graduates, but also female Obstetrics students who study at the TEI of Obstetrics in Greece or in the postgraduate programs of Obstetrics in Cyprus, however what prevents midwives from entering the labor market is the precondition to have completed their educational program by conducting 40 births. And having 40 births today is not an easy task, at a time when 60% of births today in Cyprus are by caesarean section.
“We have 10 female students who have completed all their births and will be registered in the Registry of Midwives. Another 25 graduated two years ago. There are midwives on the market, but too many graduates go to clinics with resumes and are not hired. At the moment, there are unemployed midwives “, said to” P “Eleni Hatzigeorgiou, Special Teaching Staff and Obstetrics Instructor at TEPAK, which in recent years offers postgraduate studies in Obstetrics for Nursing graduates.
Ms. Hatzigeorgiou points out that the issue is not the adequacy of midwives, but the reluctance of clinics to hire them to perform births. “Doctors need midwives and women need midwives. The gynecologist can not be next to the woman, will he dedicate ten hours to be next to her? It is the midwives who are there, who know very well and will do it. In the public sector, the midwife is completely autonomous, we execute them very well as in other countries. In the private sector, doctors are paid to give birth. In Cyprus we have 257 gynecologists, it is a very large number, we do not need them, but they must have a job. In Sweden if a gynecologist gives birth normally it will not be paid because the health system there says they are handled by midwives. In education we are equal to the Nordic countries, our midwives have experience, they will attend 100 pregnant women, 100 newborns, high risk pregnancies. “Our midwives provide safe care to the woman, why not give them the opportunity to do so?”, She adds.
They confess to the public
On the other hand, the president of the Association of Private Hospitals, Dr. Markos Agathangellou, told “P” that the clinics have requested an extension of the legislation until the implementation of the GESS. “The minister accepted it last year as well, but the Health Committee did not accept it because we stumble on the issue of the Nurses-Midwives Association. There are not enough midwives, even if there are they do not intend to leave Limassol to go to Larnaca or from Nicosia to go to Limassol. “They may have sufficiency in one city and scarcity in others.”
For her part, the president of the Cyprus Gynecological Society, Dr. Aphrodite Elisaiou, states that for the time being there is no discussion for a new postponement, since they will wait for the numbers of graduates at the end of the year. He points out, however, that clinics are at a dead end when midwives working in clinics leave without prior notice to be appointed to the public sector. “Private clinics should be informed in time – the Ministry of Health tells them that an appointment will come next week. The law says that depending on the years of service you should warn the employer early that you are leaving. We want to give enough warning to employers. We were told that there will be new midwives who will leave the schools midwives until December, is the position of the minister and the director of Nursing Services when we went to the minister in the summer. “Suddenly, in the summer, places were opened in Makareio, Paralimni, Paphos and the private clinics had a lot of problems”, he adds.