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Cyprus

State doctors’ bickering continues over bribery claims

ONGOING bickering between doctors did not seem to abate on Friday, after the head of Paphos general hospital’s cardiology unit said bribery was rife amongst doctors.

The saga began earlier this week when Iosif Moutiris, who apart from his post at Paphos general is also the deputy head of the Pasydy public sector union doctor’s branch, made the damning comments on two separate TV shows.

Specifically, he said several patients had told him that doctors were receiving cash envelopes to do their jobs, while he encouraged members of the public to file complaints to the police in any such instances.

Moutiris also said that the hospital lacked proper management to handle large budgets such as its own of around €10m.

“For someone to become hospital chief, the legislation requires a degree in general medicine and a post-graduate degree in public health.”

This is not enough to run a hospital, he argued, and that additional education is required in subjects related to business management.

“I believe those heading the hospitals are not suitable.”

Moutiris added that he had expected the health ministry to have sent circulars by now, to help guide hospitals through the transition towards autonomy.

“We have not received anything yet.”

His comments prompted the fury of Paphos hospital chief Spyros Georgiou who phoned in during the interview on Cybc’s Apo Mera Se Mera lunchtime news how to accuse Moutiris of “going from one channel to another spewing propaganda.”

“This specific doctor offends everything and everyone… He can’t fill his mouth about doctors without any evidence.”

Georgiou called on the minister of health, the attorney-general and “even the president” to intervene, not to investigate Moutiris’ allegations of bribery, but to do something that could put an end to the doctor’s behaviour, who is “bullying and upsetting everyone at the hospital.”

The hospital chief also accused Moutiris of failing to do his job properly and should instead be more introspective in seeing his own faults.

When put to Georgiou that as hospital chief, he should have taken action if the claims that Moutiris doesn’t do his job properly are true, Georgiou said he had written to the health ministry.

Following the debate, Pasydy union issued a statement distancing itself from Moutiris’ comments saying these were personal views and not those of Pasydy, adding that he should substantiate his claims with evidence if he had any, instead of making generic accusations against his colleagues.

Moutiris said he was not consulted before the statement was issued.

The public doctors’ Pasyki union also jumped on the bandwagon saying his statements were without evidence, misleading and “no one should be the judge of everything under the banner of a union person, evaluating qualifications, and describing his colleagues as more or less rubbish.”

Following the saga, Moutiris posted on Facebook an emoticon with its mouth plastered shut saying “interpreting yesterday’s (Thursday’s) union announcements in relation to my views of the major problems in the health sector.”

The Medical Association appealed for an end to public spats saying problems could not be solved that way and were damaging, particularly in light of preparations for the implementation of a national health scheme.

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