On Thursday, 17 May, a preliminary hearing was held in the Larnaka court on the case of the death of 10-year-old Stavros Yorgallis from the village of Alefrico. Two doctors from the Central Hospital of Larnaca have been charged with negligence. They deny their guilt. Two doctors were released on bail before the start of the trial, scheduled for 28 September. During a two-hour strike, held on Wednesday, the doctors of the state hospitals demanded to remove medical errors from the criminal law.
On Wednesday, 16 May, doctors from public hospitals in the Republic of Cyprus held a two-hour strike aimed at sensitizing society and government to problems in the health sector. It is not easy to believe, but doctors seriously demanded the decriminalization, that is, the exclusion of any of their actions from the number of criminal offenses.
It is not that simple. Others must also take responsibility, and that's why we are on strike. We want to draw the attention of the Ministry of Health, as well as everyone related to medicine, in order to modernize the state hospitals, "explained the head of the PASYKI trade union Sotiris Kumas.
Recall that the modernization of state hospitals within the framework approved by the parliament in 2017, but not yet implemented by the National Health System, is opposed precisely by the trade unions. That their salaries are not satisfied, then bonuses, then the schedule of work, then something else - excuses mass.
Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus stated that the death of a boy can be a consequence of medical negligence. During the first visit, the head-injured student was only given an X-ray that was not shown to the specialist. The victim did not have a tomography of the brain. Instead, he was sent home. After a couple of hours the child's condition deteriorated sharply. Mom again brought him to the hospital, where the doctors diagnosed a fracture of the base of the skull and was sent to the Central Hospital of Nicosia for an ambulance. The boy died on the operating table.
The death of 10-year-old schoolboy provoked an explosion of outrage in the Cypriot society. The grief-stricken mother of the boy publicly accused the doctors of Larnaka Central Hospital of not being able to correctly diagnose in time, which led to a fatal outcome. The police detained two doctors who examined the child. The court decided to leave them under arrest for five days. On Thursday, 17 May, another trial was held, during which doctors were released on bail and set a date for the main hearings on this case - 28 September.
Cyprus television broadcasts video footage of two doctors, who were led into the courthouse of Larnaka court. The doctors outraged this fact. Head of the Medical Association of the Republic of Cyprus Petros Agafangelu believes that the two doctors were treated in a "humiliating manner".
This never happened [in Cyprus], even with the most dangerous criminals! - stunned Mr. Agafangelu.
The names of doctors became known to the press before the trial began. The police detained them in record time.
This [handcuffs] could be avoided, - the press service of the police admitted.
The PASYKI union stated that the doctors of state hospitals "can not withstand physical and psychological pressure". Two other doctors at the Central Hospital of Larnaca announced their resignation. The Ministry of Health will have to urgently seek a replacement.
Doctors of the cardiology and emergency department of the Central Hospital of Paphos refused to participate in the all-Cyprus strike, because they do not agree with the reason for which it was initiated. According to the head physician of the hospital Joseph Muthris, the protest took place "at the wrong time and without a reason that would justify its conduct."
Head of the emergency department of the Paphos hospital Neophita Chrysanthu believes that her colleagues in the hospital in Larnaca in the case of the 10-year-old boy acted erroneously. She also noted that patients are not responsible for the problems that exist in the public health sector.
The Cyprus alliance, uniting specialists in rare diseases, criticized the decision of the PASYKI trade union to hold a protest action. According to his representatives, medical errors should not be taken out of criminal liability. In a modern democratic society, no one should avoid responsibility, members of the alliance believe.
Presidents, officials and high-ranking officials must be amenable, therefore we condemn any attempts to decriminalize the activities of doctors. The only thing that the doctors of the state hospitals achieved with their protest rallied the public to lose respect for all the doctors, despite the fact that among them there are excellent professionals in their field, the alliance statement says.