Doctor kicked out of GHS accused of fraud

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A 62-year-old doctor was remanded in custody for eight days by the Nicosia District Court for fraud after evidence that he had been providing medical services to General Health Service beneficiaries despite his contract being terminated.

The doctor was booted out of the GHS over another fraud case, allegedly using his son’s name, who is also a doctor, to carry out medical actions under the GHS and claim thousands of euros.

Allegedly the doctor was using the name of a company set up under his son’s name to make claims for medical services, including operations.

Police told the court on Thursday; that the Health Insurance Organisation is looking into some 170 cases of claims submitted by the company worth €60,000.

The doctor faces charges of obtaining money under false pretences, circulating forged documents, conspiracy to commit a crime, forgery, and corruption offences.

In comments to the state radio CyBC, police spokesperson Christos Andreou said the doctor was arrested when returning to Cyprus from a trip at Larnaca Airport.

As told by the police spokesperson, the doctor’s 38-year-old son is also wanted for questioning, but authorities cannot reach him as he lives and works abroad.

Andreou said the doctor is facing fraud charges in a separate case, for which a hearing was scheduled.

The doctor was accused of scamming a GHS patient into paying him more for medical equipment than the actual cost.

Reportedly, the suspect had convinced the patient to buy more elaborated equipment from a private company but delivered a standard-issue device used in state hospitals.

In comments to state radio CyBC, the chair of the Ethics Committee of the Cyprus Medical Association, Michalis Anastasiades, said the doctor is involved in another two fraud cases.

Anastasiades said that the CMA could not carry out its own probe into the case, as legislation does not allow them to do so while a criminal investigation is ongoing.

He added that a proposal to tweak the relevant legislation is before the Legal Service.

Also speaking to CyBC radio, the director of the Health Insurance Organization, Maria Kythreotou, said the HIO had terminated contracts with more than 10 doctors, half of which were forwarded to the police.

Kythreotou also said that 90% of complaints against GHS providers came from beneficiaries.

She refrained from providing further details on this case as police investigations are ongoing.