Min­is­ter vows in­quiry

Cyprus Today - - NEWS - By YASEMIN GÜLPINAR

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

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