The Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) has struck off the doctor found guilty of indecent assault from Gesy, it emerged on Wednesday.

Sources at the health ministry confirmed the development to the Cyprus Mail, stressing however that gastroenterologist Pavlos Antoniou is still able to practise in the private sector as his licence has not yet been revoked.

Antoniou was found guilty last week of indecent assault against a female patient in the summer of 2020.

News that this was not his first such crime has sparked fury across the country, with MPs grilling the health minister and stakeholders earlier this week during a House human rights committee.

Widespread condemnation

They condemned the fact that the Cyprus Medical Association (CMA) has said it will wait before court sentences the doctor before beginning its own investigation into the matter.

MPs questioned why the court decision on its own is not enough, particularly with Antoniou’s history.

He pled guilty in 2015 to sexual harassment and indecent assault, for crimes carried out in his workplace.

According to head of the CMA’s ethics committee Michalis Anastasiades, Antoniou only had to pay a fine.

This was because it took years until the CMA caught wind of the fact that their own member had been guilty of a crime, and as such, Antoniou’s lawyer could use the time which had passed in his favour, Anastasiades told the Cyprus Mail.

“There is a bill at the health ministry seeking to change this,” but it was recently taken back for amendments, he added.

The only way for the CMA to know if a case has begun against one of its members is if a complaint is also filed to the association.

Currently, the disciplinary arm of the CMA has the right to strip a doctor of their licence.