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Health minister to be honoured after he helped save Israeli man’s life

Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis

Israel will award Health minister Giorgos Pamboridis with an appreciation certificate after he helped save the life of an Israeli patient who could not find the medication he desperately needed.

According to Israel’s ynetnews.com  on January 13, the head of general surgery trauma department at Hadassah Medical Centre requested the foreign ministry’s assistance in saving the life of a patient who needed a drug that was not available in Israel.

The Israeli ministry conveyed the request to the country’s embassies across Europe in a bid to locate the drug, ynetnews said.

Israeli Ambassador in Cyprus, Yael Ravia-Zadok, received the request and immediately contacted Pamboridis who responded despite it being Friday night.

He got back to the ambassador in under an hour, saying: “We have the medication. The Nicosia general hospital is waiting for you to come and pick it up,” ynetnews said.

When the ambassador asked how to transfer payment, the minister replied: “Payment? What payment?” and refused to accept any compensation for the life-saving medication.

The medicine was picked up and flown to Israel in time to save the patient’s life. He was released from hospital shortly afterwards.

The immediate response and willingness to help save a life with no interest for compensation show Minister Pamboridis’s moral dedication, the Israeli ambassador was quoted as saying.

The actions also “embody the depth of the friendship between Israel and Cyprus, the Cypriots and Israelis,” she added.

“We will always remember the Cypriots’ commitment to human lives experienced first-hand by Jewish Holocaust survivors who were on their way to Israel and deported by the British to Cyprus; 53,000 survivors were concentrated in detention camps on the island in 1946-1949. Even then, we saw humane gestures of many Cypriots who assisted people in the camps,” the ambassador said.

The foreign ministry and the Israel Export Institute decided to grant a certificate of appreciation to Pamborides, who is set to arrive in Israel in the coming days on a work-related visit, ynetnews said.

The certificate will state: “Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”


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