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Cyprus

Coronavirus: Medical association to look into claims of false sick leave

The medical association (CyMA) said on Tuesday it was looking into reports that doctors were handing out bogus sick leave to civil servants who wanted to stay home during the coronavirus crisis.

Both Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides and Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos said they knew of such cases.

CyMA said following the reports, its chairman, Petros Agathangelou contacted them and asked for information regarding their claims.

Both men agreed to hand over the information so that they could be examined by CyMA.

“We are going through critical times and the health sector and health professionals are tested hard,” CyMA said. “This, however, does not mean that CyMA, as an institutional instrument, will not look into issues and problems that arise, beyond the pandemic.”

CyMA said any shadows should be dispersed by investigating the reports and if any offences were proven then the appropriate procedures will be followed.

The association appealed to anyone with information concerning bogus sick leave to submit them for examination.

Earlier, the Paphos mayor called out the alleged practice by doctors in Paphos who were issuing fake sick notes so that employees could have an excuse to stay home.

He said that doctors, so that they don’t lose clients, were enabling people who were pretending to be ill, to stay off work.

The government has decreed that anyone who can work from home should do so as much as possible but in this instance, people were home who were not sick and not working.

“At critical times, it is completely unacceptable for some physicians to issue false certificates to employees to satisfy their clientele,” Phedonos said.

The auditor-general said he too had one incident at his service. A doctor had given an employee a two-week sick leave a day after they complained about having to go to work.

A medical council looked into the case and rejected the doctor’s note.

“When things calm down I will report it to CyMA,” Michaelides said.

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