Medical chief heads to prison over scam

The former head of a National Health System office in Thessaloniki was given an eight-year jail sentence yesterday after being found guilty of running a scam that cost the state 210,000 euros. The court heard that the 53-year-old wrote notes between 1992 and 1995 for patients to undergo medical tests that were never carried out. The accused, however, would use these notes to claim money from a Health Ministry body. The 53-year-old said that he got involved in the scam because he ran into financial problems but said that he regretted defrauding the state. An initial investigation linked 21 doctors to the scam but 18 of them were never charged due to lack of evidence. The remaining three doctors went on trial with the 53-year-old but were acquitted yesterday.