Cyprus Mail

Doctors suspended over teen’s death (Updated)

The Makarios children's hospital in Nicosia

Two doctors, investigated for medical negligence in relation to the death of a 15-year-old girl last March at Makarios hospital, have been suspended on half pay for three months.

The decision provides for the possibility to expand their suspension for another three months, health ministry spokesman Constantinos Athanasiou told the Cyprus Mail.

The health professionals, who will continue to receive half of their salary, had objected to their suspension saying this is unnecessary since the case file is already before the police.

As regards to the third doctor involved in the case, who is a university professor, the university’s rector will decide whether to terminate the cooperation with him, the spokesman added.

The news came after Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela had asked the Public Service Commission last week to consider suspending the three doctors pending the investigation.

Commenting on the decision, state health services organisation (Okypy) spokesman Charalambos Charilaou said he has confidence in the work of its doctors and the suspension was only to facilitate investigations.

“Makarios hospital has saved thousands of children and the dedication of the doctors every day to their work is a reflection of the trust and support the state health services organisation must show to its medical staff,” Charilaou said.

He added that the hospital has handed over all the evidence and the organisation cannot make any statements while the investigation is ongoing.

Investigations into the minor’s death started after the family of Ioanna Skordi lodged a complaint to the police.

The 15-year-old underwent surgery for a kidney transplant in early March when doctors found she had tumours. She died a few days after on March 4.

Reports suggested the girl’s parents had asked for her to be transferred to Israel, however local doctors said this was unnecessary. After, when health ministry senior official Christina Yiannaki was informed about the case, a doctor from Israel was contacted to come to Cyprus.

However, the girl died before she was examined by the Israeli doctor.

A preliminary investigation showed that there is possible medical negligence. The file was transferred to the legal service.

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