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Cyprus

Minister hits back at Medical Association over arrested doctors

Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis

Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis said on Monday that the Cyprus Medical Association (CyMA) is confused as to its responsibilities over investigating its own members.
Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC, Pamboridis refuted claims made by CyMA last week that the health ministry had not responded to letters CyMA had sent, calling for a probe into reports against a doctor who was recently arrested.
Pamborides said that it is the ultimate responsibility of the CyMA to investigate cases involving its members and to take decisions.
He added that the CyMA cannot claim that the ministry did nothing as by the time the CyMA had sent the letters reporting a state doctor in March, the ministry had already long before launched a probe, which led to his arrest.
“But why should I tell them (CyMA)? We had the tip off and we reported to the competent authority, the police. Why didn’t they inform the police? Or should I inform them of my actions, and risk having this reach the (doctor) under investigation?” Pamboridis said.
He added that disciplinary probes fall under CyMA’s responsibilities and that they are the ones that must reveal their findings on investigations on their members. “It’s been a while since I heard penalties imposed (by them) on their members,” he said.
CyMA had also expressed its discontent as to how the arrested doctors are being tarnished even when investigations are still at the initial stages.
It said that its committees will deal with the issue of each doctor after the final court decision and in case of the suspects’ civil or criminal prosecution.
Last week, a 55-year-old contract neurosurgeon at Nicosia general hospital was arrested in connection with 10 alleged bribery-related offences, while earlier in the month, three public sector ENT doctors were arrested for allegedly taking backhanders to refer patients to a private hearing clinic.
Pamporidis said his ministry is investigating more reports against doctors.


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