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Auditor-general wants former minister investigated

Health Minister Petros Petrides

The auditor-general has recommended opening an investigation into claims that former health minister Petros Petrides had approved a request for taxpayers to foot the bill of an operation he had performed as a private doctor just before taking office in March last year.

This was included in a letter from Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides to the current health minister, informing him of the complaint against Petrides.

According to the June 26 letter, Petrides had performed an operation on a woman at a private hospital.

The procedure cost €20,000, which the woman sought from the state, also attaching a report from Petrides to back her claim.

The committee responsible for reviewing such claims suggested that the cost could not be covered on the grounds that the operation could have been performed at a state hospital.

However, Petrides, who was appointed minister in the meantime, bypassed the committee and satisfied the request without any justification, Michaelides’ letter said.

“Considering that Mr. Petrides is no longer a public official, our view is that the only thing that can be done is to refer the case to the attorney-general so that he looks into it and decide whether any criminal offences have been committed or if any other action must be taken,” the auditor-general said.

The letter was also sent to the House Watchdog Committee.

Petrides was appointed health minister in March 2013. He resigned his post a year later after his party, DIKO, decided to leave the coalition government. Petrides later quit the party.

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