Suspension of Makarios Hospital doctors cannot be undone

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The Health Ministry urged parents of children suffering from kidney disease to keep calm and understand why two doctors were suspended after complaints of medical negligence at Makarios hospital.

They were suspended after a 15-year-old girl, Ioanna Skordi, underwent surgery for a kidney transplant in March when doctors found she had tumours. She died a few days later, on March 4.

A preliminary investigation indicated there was possible medical negligence. Accordingly, the file was transferred to the prosecution service.

In comments to state radio CyBC, the ministry’s spokesperson Konstantinos Athanasiou said it was impossible to lift the suspension of the two doctors as it was a matter of public interest.

“The Health Ministry cannot ignore legislation; therefore, the request to withdraw the availability of the two doctors cannot be satisfied,” said Athanasiou.

His comments come amid complaints from the doctors’ colleagues and parent concerns over the hospital’s capacity to treat children suffering from kidney diseases.

Athanasiou called parents to stay calm as the duties of a paediatric nephrologist will be undertaken by a child kidney doctor currently stationed at the Nicosia General.

A representative of the parents, Neophyta Kyprianou, told CyBC that the ministry had not understood the gravity of the situation.

She claimed that the transplant clinic of Nicosia General could not cater to children who need specialist treatment.

Staff at Makarios children’s hospital held a two-hour work stoppage last week to condemn the “unfair and unnecessary” three-month suspension imposed on two hospital doctors.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela told the media: “I want to remind everyone why these doctors have been suspended.

“As we all know, in March, a 15-year-old girl passed away; this girl could have been a niece of any of us, a daughter, a sister, a relative.”

The minister said that following the death of the teenage girl who had undergone a kidney transplant just days earlier, her parents filed a complaint for possible negligence.

The two doctors and a third doctor, a university professor, are being investigated for medical negligence.

Hadjipantela emphasised that it is in everyone’s interest to resolve the matter, so there are no doubts.

He argued that any gaps created are being filed, detailing that there are six additional paediatric surgeons, while a specialist from Nicosia General will be taking care of children at the Makarios hospital.