The two Larnaca doctors, who are facing charges of gross negligence in the death of a 10-year-old school boy, pleaded not guilty on Thursday and were set free on bail until their trial in September.
The case has shocked public opinion and reignited a heated discussion over public health in Cyprus, following the death Stavros Georgallis, a student at a Larnaca school who died of head trauma last Friday without doctors diagnosing promptly the extent of his injury.
State doctors from Pasyki union, who carried out a two-hour strike on Wednesday, have accused Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou of pursuing the doctors unfairly, after the two medics were handcuffed and their names released to the public following their appearance in court.
Police also issued a statement saying handcuffing the two ER doctors in the aftermath of the school boy’s death “could have been avoided” while adding that their focus remains the investigation of the serious incident.
Health minister says the two doctors appear to contradict each other in their statements
But Ioannou, who ordered an internal probe into the matter, went on state radio to defend his actions, saying the two doctors appeared to contradict each other in their statements.
The minister says that an effort to link the tragic case of the boy’s death with the chronic problems in public health was “most unfortunate” and insisted that an investigation must go forward independelty.
The two doctors, a 37-year-old medic from Greece and his 65-year-old superior from Cyprus, are facing charges of gross negligence and medical malpractice, based on allegations that a decision to discharge the boy into his mother’s care took place without ever consulting with the radiologist on duty.
They both pleaded not guilty on Thursday and were released on €10,000 bail each. Their next hearing is scheduled for September 28.