Cyprus Mail

Health minister backtracks on telling Greece they should help sick boy

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Wednesday said he had no intention of intervening in the procedures of the Greek authorities after expressing the wish the previous day that Greece would financially help a sick boy.

Following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the minister said the treatment of a two-year-old Cypriot boy suffering from a rare form of muscular atrophy was going well. The government paid the €2.6m necessary for the boy’s treatment to the Boston Children’s Hospital, he said.

“The important thing is that the health of the child is going well, and we expect and hope that the government of Greece will do the same for exactly the same problem facing a young child in Greece,” Ioannou had said on Tuesday.

He was referring to the case of 18-month-old Panayiotis Rafael from Greece also suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1 like the Cypriot boy, Antonis.

Panayiotis Rafael’s parents are currently running a fundraiser in Greece and Cyprus to collect the money necessary for the child’s treatment at the same hospital in Boston after being turned down by the Greek government for monetary support.

Ioannou on Wednesday said he would like to clarify that he had no intention of intervening in the procedures followed by the Greek authorities.

“We fully respect the decisions of the Supreme Scientific Health Council of Greece, acknowledging that every case is assessed separately based on private medical data,” Ioannou said in a written statement.

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