A chief surgeon at a big hospital in Athens was arrested on Friday, after a cancer patient filed a complaint to police that the doctor had extorted a total of 3,000 euros. The 50-year-old doctor is well-known in Athens and is working at the Ippokrateio Public Hospital. During a police operation he was found in possession of marked banknotes amounting 600 euros.
The patient, a 40-year-old man, was diagnosed with colon cancer and the doctor had already operated him twice for the bribe of 2,650 euros. When he was transferred to the hospital for a third time with extensive bleeding, the surgeon refused to treat him unless he would pay 600 euros extra “due to rising costs from his second operation.”
The patient is unemployed, has no own income and lives with his parents who receive a monthly pension of 550 euros.
The man told media, that he had to borrow the money to pay the bribes. He first paid 1,500 euros to the doctor for the operation he had in June 2018, plus 150 euros for the anesthesiologist. for his second operation in September, he had to pay another €1,000.
“After the second operation, he told me to give him another €600 because some extra cost had arisen,” the patient said. “He told me to give this money from the invalidity allowance I would start receiving in January,” the man added.
The cancer patient got fed up and filed a complained. Police gave him marked banknotes which he handed over to the doctor.
One should note that uninsured and poor patients do not have to pay a euro in the country’s public hospitals.
Ultimately, the hospital governor helped the patient by finding for him other gastroenterologist who would take care of him without money.
On social media there is talk that the surgeon was known for receiving bribes and that some leaflets with his face were circulating some time ago.
Authorities have not released the surgeon’s name.