The Cyprus medical association demanded clarifications on Monday after Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said the withdrawn proposal to appoint their president to the board of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) was a “mistake”.

The minister spoke about the controversial decision to appoint Dr Petros Agathangelou to the HIO board to Phileleftheros which published the article under the title ‘Minister’s confession: We made a mistake with Agathengelou’s appointment’.

The medical association has called on the minister to clarify whether he actually said those words.

“It is one issue whether the minister actually said that and another issue whether it is a journalistic interpretation that resulted in a misleading headline that essentially attributes to the minister something he did not say,” the association said.

The title, the association added, “constitutes an insult to the institution of the Cyma itself and the medical community of Cyprus, if this is what Mr Hadjipandela actually said or clearly meant”.

“If this does not correspond to reality, then the headline is an insult to journalism itself and what it represents, as it attributes to the interviewee something he did not say, misleading public opinion,” the statement added.

Agathangelou’s appointment on the 13-member board of the HIO, announced earlier this year, was withdrawn in July following reactions by patients’ groups and political parties. The doctor was considered unfit for the position as he had publicly opposed the introduction of Gesy and had urged doctors not to join.