Minister vows inquiry
HEALTH Minister Filiz Besim has pledged an “immediate investigation” into a complaint against a doctor lodged by a TRNC expat.
Claire Lamb, who has lived in Tatlısu for nine years, wrote to the ministry about her treatment by Dr Cemal Cevheroğlu when she need emergency surgery in January for “chronic appendicitis”.
She claimed she was persuaded by him to have the operation at a private hospital, allegedly for 1,000TL less than the “6,000TL” she would pay at Gazimağusa State Hospital — but discovered later the government facility’s charge would have been just 2,000TL.
She said she had yet to receive any response to her complaint, delivered to the hospital in February, but Dr Besim told Cyprus Today she had not received it, and called on Mrs Lamb to get in touch.
In her letter to the ministry, Mrs Lamb — a leading figure in the Civil Emergency Services Volunteeers (CESV) with her late husband — said she had been advised by the doctor that she would not have to wait “as long” for surgery if she went private.
It was only when she later developed an “abscess”, and went to her local health centre for it to be dressed, that she was told she would have paid much less at the state hospital.
“As I had worked closely with the staff at Gazimağusa State Hospital I went to speak to . . . the head of finance . . . I explained to him what had happened, and he told me that operation would have cost no more than 2,000TL,” she said, adding that she had been “lied” to and cheated out of 3,000TL, in behaviour she called “morally and ethically wrong”.
She said she had “no problem with paying for treatment” and that the state hospital “has a very fair system for foreigners here”, but “this . . . has made me mistrust the system and also my own judgement”.
She demanded a refund of the 5,000TL operation fee, saying she would pay the state hospital the 2,000TL it should have had, and said action was needed against the doctor who had “us[ed] his position to take advantage of someone who was in severe pain and very vulnerable”.
“As a follow up I have had to pay a further 1,113TL to Near East University Hospital for blood tests and scans as I’m still having complications [from] internal damage when he was cauterising the appendix. As a result I am still in pain which nothing can resolve.”
Dr Cevheroğlu comment. declined to