Regret has been expressed by the Cyprus Medical Association (PIS) that some of its members have been targeted and accused of abusing the national health system (Gesy).

“We do not allow anyone to use doctors to serve and personal ambitions,” it said in a statement on Saturday night.

“No one can exploit the health of citizens and the Hippocratic mission of doctors, nor can these values be the subject of cheap populism and demagoguery,” it added.

Last week the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), which runs Gesy, announced major changes to the way in which the healthcare system will function after a rolling scandal of reported abuse and misuse which has led to criminal charges and doctors being fired from the system.

The targeting of doctors does not solve the problems of Gesy, PIS said. “Doctors cannot be a persistent target of those who attempt to shirk responsibility,” it added.

It did admit though that problems identified by the auditor general and the legal service need addressing.

“Unfortunately, some people obsessively choose the familiar path of hollow slogans and as a result undermine what they themselves supposedly protect,” it said.

The medical association said both before and after the introduction of Gesy it had submitted proposals to make sure the system was not abused.

On Thursday the House watchdog committee erupted into a shouting match on Thursday as the rolling scandal over abuses within Gesy continued, with one person being expelled from the meeting as police were called in.

The war of words took place amid fresh revelations as to the extent of the abuse occurring within Gesy, as auditor general Odysseas Michaelides presented to the committee a case in which one doctor claims to have worked 37 hours a day, and another claiming 29 hours.

Elsewhere, one specialist doctor made a whopping €870,000 during 2020, and a pair of gynaecologists having raked in €1.4m.