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Call for probe into ‘deadbeat doctors’ at Paphos hospital

Photo archive: Paphos hospital

By Evie Andreou

The head of the House Health committee, DISY MP Costas Constantinou has called for a probe into allegations against two doctors at the Paphos general hospital for refusing to perform their duties, and for indecent behaviour.

The reports concern a gynaecologist who allegedly did not report for duty when one of his patients went in premature labour, and the other a radiologist who refused to go to the hospital on two occasions to assess the condition of two emergency cases.

The report against the gynaecologist was made earlier in the week by the mother of the pregnant woman. In a letter addressed to the health minister George Pamporidis, and other authorities, the mother claimed that the gynaecologist refused to report for duty when he was called in at 1am by a doctor from the emergency room where her daughter was taken because she had blood and was in pain.

“… my daughter was 33 weeks pregnant and his presence was needed. She might have needed to be transferred to the Makarios hospital [in Nicosia],” the letter said.

It added that the doctor was called twice by midwives, but refused again to go to the hospital.

The baby was delivered a couple of hours later by the midwives with the assistance of a paediatrician, who also accompanied the newborn to the Makarios Children’s Hospital in Nicosia.

When asked the next day when he was making his rounds by the young mother why he was not present during the labour, the gynaecologist’s response was reportedly offensive.

“His answer was; “it’s not my fault you had sex during the night and went into premature labour”. It should be noted that he also made an indecent gesture,” the letter said.

“I wonder if doctors like these should have place in our hospitals and I also wonder if there are people covering for him,” the newborn’s grandmother said in the letter.

The reports against another doctor at the Paphos hospital, a radiologist, were made by Constantinou himself, after receiving complaints from patients.

“Around 20 days ago, the services of the radiologist who was on call, were required in order to assess an emergency case. Doctors on duty needed to see if the patient had to be transferred to Nicosia, and despite the fact she was asked twice to report for duty she refused,” Constantinou told the Cyprus Mail.

The family of the patient was forced to take her to a private hospital, and paid a a huge amount of money to have her diagnosed there, “even though they were in a dire economic situation”, Constantinou said.

As regards the same radiologist, who is senior staff member, the MP said, two days later, she refused again when she was called in by other doctors also for an emergency case but this time at 2.30pm, which is within her working schedule, but she was already at home.

“She was called in but was at home and said that she would be available after 4pm,” Constantinou said.

He added that he contacted the ministry and said that unless actions were taken, he would table the issue with the House health committee.

“Such phenomena must be eradicated. Such behaviour tarnishes the good name of all those doctors who work under adverse conditions to provide the best possible care to their patients,” he said.

The Paphos hospital has been under scrutiny since August when another gynaecologist failed to diagnose a twin pregnancy, which resulted in the death of one of the two babies during labour. The ministry said on Thursday that the report of the investigation was completed but that the ministry had requested additional information before reaching a conclusion.

Investigations into the wrong diagnosis at the same hospital last month of a two-year-old boy, who was misdiagnosed with a sprained ankle when in fact he had been bitten by an insect or a snake, are on-going the ministry said.

As regards this week’s claims against the gynaecologist, the report received by the ministry was deemed as unsatisfactory and further information was requested, CyBC reported.

 

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