Doctors’ disciplinary panel needs surgery

The man who is responsible for targeting corruption in Greece’s public administration has raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of the panel meant to discipline public hospital doctors.

Speaking to Kathimerini, the general inspector of public administration, Leandros Rakintzis (photo), suggested that the national health system’s Central Disciplinary Council (CDC) is not doing its job properly, failing to punish doctors for offenses.

“I have found serious delays in the issuing of decisions by the council,” he said. “More than 60 cases are in danger of not being heard due to the statute of limitations, while quite a few of the decisions need to be appealed.”

Rakintzis, who has appealed against a number of the council’s rulings, recommended an immediate overhaul of the body and the placing of judges on the panel. His negative assessment of the committee’s role is in line with the view recently expressed by the Ombudsman. The watchdog described the disciplinary committee as being “out of order.”

One of the cases that Rakintzis is chasing up involves a doctor who issued prescriptions without seeing his patients and had his original three-month suspension reduced to a written warning on appeal. Another doctor, who was deemed to have engaged in unethical behavior, was dismissed from his position but managed to be completely acquitted on appeal.

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