Medical Shield Announcements

Press Realease: 14/02/2022 «MEDICAL SHIELD» Press Conference

Press Realease: 14/02/2022 «MEDICAL SHIELD» Press Conference

The goal is to modernize the legislation governing the registration, education, and evaluation of physicians.

Two more complaints about doctors presenting specialty titles they might not hold, from the citizens’ initiative group.

Aiming to modernize the legislation governing the registration, education, and continuous assessment of physicians and, consequently, the services offered to Cypriot patients, the Federation of Cypriot Patient Associations participates in the citizens’ initiative under the name “Medical Shield,” the objectives of which were announced today during a press conference.

In his statement, the president of the Federation of Cypriot Patient Associations, Marios Kouloumas, clarified that the goal of this effort “is neither to question the thousands of Cypriot doctors who offer commendable services to our patients on a daily basis, nor to engage in any action to prosecute our doctors.”

However, he emphasized that “we cannot turn a blind eye or allow unnoticed, few or minimal cases of individuals, either doctors using false specialties or even non-doctors practicing medicine in violation of every law and medical ethics.”

Hence, he explained, “our aim is legislation that will be well-structured, covering all the existing gaps, regulating the registration, education, and assessment of our doctors, facilitating not only the Pan-Cyprian Medical Association in its role representing the doctors of Cyprus but also the Health Services Institution, as their decisions and actions will be much more difficult to question.

On behalf of the citizens’ initiative group ‘Medical Shield,’ Mrs. Eleonora Mavrommati mentioned that ‘it is now accepted that the responsible state body, which is responsible for registering doctors in the doctors’ registry, did not follow the procedure prescribed by the legislation for doctors holding degrees from third countries for several years.’

“As a result of this practice, isolated cases are now observed that cause us enormous concern as to whether the health or even the lives of patients are at risk. For instance, the case of two doctors who, based on a judicial decision issued last week, have had their specialty titles revoked, titles they had been using and had been treating patients for a significant period,” she said, and revealed that “the group has reported to the police and other doctors who, according to the indications we have, may possibly be using false specialties in the practice of their profession.”

“One complaint concerns a doctor who lacks a specialty yet has been practicing medicine for several years with an alleged specialization in breast cancer. The risk to the lives and health of patients is significant when patients are unaware that this specific doctor may not hold the title she claims to have. Another complaint involves, again, a doctor without a specialization. This particular doctor is said to be practicing pediatrics, although, according to the indications we have, she does not hold that specific specialty.

And for both cases, the Pancyprian Medical Association is informed.

The former president of the Ecologists-Environmentalists Cooperation Movement, George Perdikis, referred to the actions taken from 2020 until today regarding this specific issue, presenting a letter received in July 2020 from the then Minister of Health, Konstantinos Ioannou, concerning the method of verifying study titles and registering doctors in the Cyprus Doctors’ Registry. Specifically, he highlighted the case of the two doctors for whom a judicial decision was issued last week from their case, stating, among other things, that ‘an issue arises right from the beginning with the procedures followed by the Cyprus Medical Council in the process of recognizing the degrees of doctors.’

“According to Mr. Ioannou’s letter (dated 21/7/2020), in the case where the degree comes from third countries, the CMC refers it to the Medical Studies Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council (KYSATS) and requests recognition of the basic medical degree equivalence and correlation. This process has been followed since 27/6/2017. Before this date, according to the then Minister’s letter, there were cases where the CMC did not refer to KYSATS, violating the relevant legislation.

“Such a case,” Mr. Perdikis pointed out, “is the case of the two specific doctors.”

“Another issue that arose from this particular case is that throughout the investigation of the allegations and the disciplinary procedure by the CMC, doctors continued to practice medicine based on false specialization.

It is necessary,” emphasized Mr. Perdikis, “to regulate this gap in a manner similar to that which applies to doctors working in public hospitals, where the doctors under investigation are put on leave for as long as the investigation of the allegations is conducted.”

“Finally, minister Marinos Mousioutas, in his statement, reminded of a discussion held in the Parliament in 2020 regarding the allegations made then about the two specific doctors. He mentioned that ‘during the session at the Parliament at that time, involving all the competent authorities, we concluded that indeed there is a problem in Cyprus, both with the registration process in the Cyprus Doctors’ Registry and with some doctors displaying specialties they never actually obtained.

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