By Constantinos Psillides
HEALTH minister Philippos Patsalis ordered a disciplinary inquiry against the state pathologists yesterday, following a complaint filed by a morgue assistant in March.
The assistant – who doubled as a car mechanic – claimed in a letter he sent to Patsalis that he had been removing organs and conducting autopsies without any medical training. He also accused state pathologists of neglecting their duties by forcing him to conduct autopsies and to work on weekends.
Dr. Petros Matsas, chief of the Nicosia General Hospital had at the time rejected the claims, attributing them to bitterness on account of the assistant not being paid overtime.
An inquiry concluded in May that accusations of misconduct could not be documented, shifting some of the blame to the assistant himself, who had removed patient confidential files and had taken them home.
Despite the inquiry findings, Patsalis went ahead and ordered a disciplinary inquiry.
This prompted a reaction by the state pathologists, who sent a letter to Attorney general Costas Clerides and police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou, claiming that the inquiry damages the justice system.