Suspect surgeon is free to return

A surgeon at Athens’s Ippocrateio Hospital who was suspended last month on suspicion of using a forged medical certificate to get his job could return to his post because of a legal loophole. It was revealed yesterday that the hospital board only had the power to suspend the heart surgeon for 15 days. This suspension is over and, if he wishes, the doctor could return to his job. The only reason he is not back at the hospital is that he has asked for leave until January 2. A Health Ministry disciplinary board has not delivered its verdict on the case. The Athens Medical Association and prosecutors are also examining the case but have yet to take action. The doctor, who has not been named, joined the hospital in 1981 after allegedly presenting a certificate that bore the forged signature of renowned surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub.