On the occasion of International Nurses Day, Cyprus paid tribute to its healthcare heroes for their winning contribution on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.
In a written statement, President Nicos Anastasiades has expressed the government’s and his “deep gratitude” towards nurses and midwives for their invaluable role in protecting public health.
President Anastasiades said that this year Nurses Day has special meaning as it is celebrated in the midst of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in Cyprus and across the world.
“We honour and thank nursing staff, for their selflessness on the frontline safeguarding health, making our country proud for successfully responding to the pandemic,” said Anastasiades.
He pledged to make conditions better for nurses and patients in the near future, following the coronavirus crisis.
“The day after will find us all together, working for even better working conditions for our nursing staff and for a comprehensive health system which will offer all citizens the high-quality services they deserve.”
Meanwhile, statistics suggest that Cyprus should have more nurses as it currently has one of the lowest shares of nurses in the EU.
According to a Eurostat report, while the share of nurses and midwives in the total workforce was 2.2% in the EU, Cyprus was third from bottom with 1.3%.
The lowest share was 1.1% in Bulgaria, closely followed by Latvia and Luxembourg (both 1.2%) and Estonia, Cyprus, and Hungary (all 1.3%).
Cyprus is one of 11 EU member states with recorded shares of nurses and midwives of 1.5% or less of total employment.
Germany stood out with a 3.4% share followed by Finland with 3% and Belgium with 2.9%.
In absolute numbers, Germany recorded close to 1,458,000 nurses and midwives in 2019, one-third of all nurses and midwives in the EU.
France was second with around 656,000 nurses and midwives (15% of all EU nurses and midwives) and Italy had around 411,000 (9%).
According to the survey, some 4.45 million nurses and midwives were employed in the EU, counting both professional and assistant nurses and midwives.
Nurses figures in the union for 2019 are higher than those reported in 2012 by half a million.