An elderly woman is accusing a state doctor of asking for a €3000 sweetener so that he would take her sick husband off a waiting list and expedite his surgery.
The story broke last month on the “Anikti Grammi” (Open Line) television show on the Sigma channel. A woman called the show to make the complaint, and spoke to Dr Vasos Economou, the head of the ethics committee of the Cyprus Medical Association (CyMA), who was a guest on the show.
Live on television, Economou urged the caller to draft a letter and formally report the case formally to the health ministry.
By the end of the show, the woman had prepared the letter of complaint and arranged to have it relayed to Economou, who promptly forwarded it to the health ministry.
The ministry will now be launching an investigation, Sigma reported on Thursday.
According to the complaint, in September 2015 the state doctor in question placed the woman’s husband on a waiting list for surgery.
She was told the surgery would take place by Christmas.
But an operation was not scheduled by then, and when the woman called the doctor, he gave her an appointment for the same night at his private practice, at his home.
There, the woman alleges, the doctor asked her for €3000 so he could overlook the waiting list and operate on her husband the soonest possible.
On January 4, by which time her husband’s condition worsened, she again contacted the doctor, letting him know her family was poor and all she could afford was €500.
The doctor never got back to her, she claims.
Economou, speaking on Sigma on Thursday, urged patients to immediately report such cases.