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Contract doctor at Nicosia general arrested in ongoing health sector probe

Nicosia General Hospital

Police on Monday arrested a contract neurosurgeon at Nicosia general hospital in connection with 10 alleged bribery related offences that took place in February this year.

The case concerns a complaint filed to the health ministry by a 70-year-old woman.

The procedure concerned a cerebral shunt the doctor, 55, allegedly advised her to buy from a private clinic saying it was of better quality than the free ones available from the hospital.

He allegedly gave the woman and her family details of a specific supplier from whom they bought a shunt for €1,500.

However, they were suspicious, and complained to the health ministry who upon investigating the case found the surgeon had allegedly used the free device during the operation.

The ministry said the hospital shunts were one of the best quality.

The case was filed to police who arrested the doctor. He denies the allegations.

Police said a second arrest may follow.

The move comes at a time of a wider clampdown on corruption in the health sector as already three state doctors will be tried in Nicosia Court after they were arrested earlier this month.

They are the head of the ENT department and executive director of Nicosia general hospital Yiannakis Kyamides, Vasken Shahbenderian, who also served at the state hospital’s ENT department, and Dafnis Aristodemou, the head of Larnaca general hospital ENT department.

They are suspected of receiving €143,000 in kickbacks from 2008 until the present, taking advantage the state’s policy of subsidising various programmes for people suffering with hearing problems.

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