Tuesday , March 28 2023
Home / News / Society / Patient who accused surgeon for bribe dies after delayed heart operation; prosecutor investigates

Patient who accused surgeon for bribe dies after delayed heart operation; prosecutor investigates

An in-depth investigation has been launched into the death of a public hospital patient who accused a heart surgeon of demanding bride for a life-saving surgery.  The 67-year-old man died on Monday after an open heart surgery performed by another surgeon. However the quadruple bypass was apparently much too late for the patient who died short after the surgery in intensive care and after suffering another heart attack. His relatives immediately filed a law suit arguing that the patient’s life would have been saved, had the operation been performed in time. Now police investigates whether the delay has contributed to the patient’s death.

Late June, the patient was rushed to public hospital Evangelismos in Athens. He had suffered a heart attack and was in need of urgent operation. However, the heart surgeon and department chief demanded 1,500 euro under the table in order to perform the surgery. According to the patients’ relatives, “the surgeon had even threatened to discharge him from hospital, if he would not bring the money.”

The patient and his family would not afford to pay this amount and made a complaint to police. The surgeon, 60,  was arrested last week.

According to the police report, the 67-year-old explained that he could not afford such an amount and after 18 days of waiting agreed to pay a smaller amount that would be handed over to the surgeon by a relative. He then reported the incident to the police who marked the bills the relative paid over to the 60-year-old surgeon, leading to his arrest.

An autopsy performed on Tuesday showed that the patient was suffering of ischemic cardiopathy and he had suffered three heart attacks, two of them in recent days. The autopsy is expected to be concluded by the end of the week.

“The final results of autopsy and toxicological tests will  shed light on whether there is medical responsibility in patient’s death,” Nikolaos Karakousis, one of the coroners who performed the autopsy told the media.  He added hat such patients have to undergo operation as soon as possible and stressed that operations with quadruple bypass are of high risk and high death rates..

The patient’s relatives claim that delaying the operation for 18 days – that is the period of time in which the patient and the surgeon were negotiating about the bride – was fatal for the 67-year-old pensioner.

According to Proto Thema, this view is shared by other physicians who say that

the elderly heart patient may have suffered additional emotional burden due to the behavior of the surgeon who was blackmailing him in order to perform the life saving heart surgery.

On the other hand, doctors at Evangelismos  Hospital citing the relevant bibliography argue that

a period of 15 days would be needed anyway before the surgery in order to stabilize the patient’s condition and allow him to undergo the heart surgery. 

The arrested surgeon already faces felony charges for demanding a bride. He was released on bail of 100,000 euro and some restrictive measures. He will face additional charges, if it is proven that the operation delay caused the pensioner’s death.

A relative of the deceased pensioner, told media “We visited him on Sunday, we saw that he was OK. the doctors told us, that everything was going fine. He asked for some water…. We left and before we arrived home, they called us that the patient had deceased.”

Speaking to media ahead of his operation, the unfortunate man had labelled the surgeon “a common blackmailer.”

“Fakelaki” – that is money under the table – is a common practice in Greece’s public hospitals and patients are asked to be paid the money to surgeons and anesthetists whether insured or not.


Check Also

Military Parade on Greece Independence Day- Live

The big military parade of Armed and Security forces to celebrate the Greek Independence Day …


  1. Greece is forced by the EU to pay a heavy price for the fundamental errors of the EU in the Europe-wide design of the euro.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      corruption and bribes among the public hospital doctors are a tradition older than the euro and the EU