Probe into secret supplies at Athens hospital

Doctors, executives and other employees at the Ippokratio Hospital in Athens are being investigated after public inspectors discovered roughly 1 million euros? worth of surgical equipment in a stockroom that the institution?s managers seemed to be unaware of.

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos revealed on Thursday that the stockroom was discovered when inspectors visited the hospital last month. He said that the Ippokratio was only meant to keep 200,000 euros? worth of supplies in stock. He also suggested that doctors had broken procurement rules in building up this collection of equipment, which included pacemakers, valves, catheters and surgical mesh.

?This has to stop,? said Loverdos. ?The Greek people cannot take this anymore. They cannot keep paying for this.?

The minister said that doctors ordered the items directly from suppliers, which would deliver them without having received an official order from the hospital. Loverdos said that the information gathered by inspectors would be submitted by first instance prosecutor Eleni Raikou.

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