Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Health minister wants list of anti vax doctors

uruguay start to administering booster shots to people inoculated with covid 19 vaccine

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said he wants a list of the doctors who are advising their patients against receiving the coronavirus vaccination.

A major bump in the road towards greater vaccination coverage in Cyprus has been the often-conflicting messaging between the health ministry and “many” GPs.

A considerable number of GPs have in private consultations with their patients advised them to either not take the vaccine or to “wait a little while longer and not to rush into it”.

When asked about this, the health minister told Sigma on Friday that there will be a meeting on Wednesday with the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) as most doctors fall under their jurisdiction.

“I want to have a list of doctors who do not advise their patients to take the vaccine, just so that we know who these people are and to see whether something is going wrong – as was the case with the doctor in Larnaca,” Hadjipantelas said.

The ‘Larnaca doctor’ to which the minister referred is a 53-year-old cardiologist who is being investigated by the police for allegedly issuing fake vaccination certificates.

It has been reported that two of the 53-year-old’s patients have now died from Covid-19.

Currently, the health minister said, there are two ways to deal with the doctors who are or who have improperly issued vaccination certificates.

He said the cases are being reported to the chief of police with the goal being that the incidents end up in court while the other option is disciplinary action from the Cyprus Medical Association (CMA).

“Unfortunately the CMA legislation has to change, we are coordinating so that a changed proposal [can be put in place] so that there can be strict penalties and with these we can withdraw the licences of those doctors,” the health minister said.

He was also asked about those who remain unvaccinated and are staunch opponents to a vaccination campaign based on coercion and whether “we have convinced the public on the necessity of vaccination.”

“We respect the opinions of our compatriots who do not wish to be vaccinated, this is something that we understand and respect, but at the same time we also respect those who have been vaccinated.

“And for this reason, there are some relaxations [for the vaccinated] and that’s why for those who are unvaccinated they must undergo more tests, checks and in some cases they must pay for the tests,” he said.

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