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Unjustified operations by paediatric surgeon cost state €400,000

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THE Cyprus Medical Association on Friday refrained from commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation of a private sector paediatric surgeon that has allegedly burdened the state with a cost of over half a million euros, including travel expenses.

The complaint, filed by Stavros Stavrou, former head of the state doctors union (Pasyki), to the police chief, alleges the paediatric surgeon in question undertook surgeries in his private practise that his colleagues could have successfully performed at the Makarios Hospital in Nicosia.

The complaint, reported by daily Phileleftheros, alleges that in the two years the surgeon worked with the health ministry, he flew to Cyprus 25 times, as he lived abroad, carrying out 153 procedures and 61 examinations for which he was rewarded €413,315.

The sum, which has been outlined in an audit service investigation, excludes travelling and accommodation expenses, which were also paid for by the health ministry.

Additionally, there had been no calls for tender for the procedures he had undertaken, the report said, and the surgeries were routine procedures that could have been carried out by Makarios hospital staff with success.

Patients that he operated on or examined at the Makarios hospital were referred to his private clinic which he ran when in Cyprus without these cases being examined by a medical board of specialist paediatric surgeons whose role it was to evaluate what each patient needed and if it would be carried out by a private surgeon or in a state hospital.

The audit service’s conclusions, which also point fingers to high level ministry officials, also suggest that the surgeon’s invoices were approved without the necessary documentation.

The medical association said any action which violated the law were condemnable and they would take the necessary action once the investigation was complete.

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