All sorts of rumours circulating that Polis Hospital was going to be closed and that there would be a protest meeting at 09.00 this morning. Obviously concerned, we duly turned up to see what was happening.
Greek Cypriots and British ex-pats sat around drinking coffee until the TV cameras arrived, and then the debate began. I have never seen Cypriot democracy in action but the principle seemed to be that he who spoke loudest and longest, and disregarded the opinions of others, would carry the day. We spoke to Antonio, who was the youngest member of the government committee who decides these things. He explained what was happening.
Two doctors were either leaving or resigning from the hospital, which was putting the other doctors and the system under pressure. The system to appoint doctors is similar to the system to appoint new teachers ... there is a list and when you reach the top, you are offered a job. Money is not the issue but prospective doctors have three or four days to decide if they want the job. Politics comes into this, and it would seem that the hospital may be understaffed for a couple of months. There is also a shortage of ambulance drivers.
The mayor and deputy mayor of Polis were there and strong arguments were put forward with the parliamentary chairman of the committee giving as good as he got. So Polis Hospital will not be being closed, there is money available and the system is stopping instant action. Chinese whispers rule but all should be sorted in time.