Tuesday, 28 November 2023
The Prescription Fraud case which emerged in September and has been in the public’s mind since that time, has resulted in the arrests and court appearances of a total of 72 individuals, including doctors, pharmacists, civilians, and trainee pharmacists, Yeniduzen reports.
While at the moment, everyone charged has been released on bail and the legal process continues, it is accompanied by concern among doctors and pharmacists.
They believe that the whole matter has turned into a political issue resulting in both the professionals and the public paying the price.
The authorities have accepted no responsibility for these events, it has been said.
Following which, the Turkish Cypriot Pharmacists Association and the Turkish Cypriot Medical Association applied to the Court of Accounts yesterday to audit the Social Insurance Department within the scope of the ‘Fake Prescription Investigation’, and the presidents of both associations issued a press statement.
President of the Turkish Cypriot Pharmacists Association, Umut Öksüz, stated that physicians and pharmacists were viewed as “criminals” even before the judicial process was completed, and that the public authority had accepted no responsibility.
“Currently, 293 of our pharmacies are under investigation. At the end of the process, so many of our colleagues who are affiliated with this sector, which was founded by Kamran Aziz in 1952, come to an end. As a result of this, the citizens of this country are forced to pay by not being able to access medicine“, said Öksüz, adding, “There is no major profiteering or corruption as claimed“.
Social Insurance Department Negligence
Ahmet Özant, President of the Turkish Cypriot Medical Association, followed Öksüz and said, “We have to underline the existence of neglect and abuse of duty within the Social Insurance Department“.
He said that his association had applied to the Court of Accounts to audit the Social Security Department within the scope of the ‘fake prescription investigation’ and recalled that they also filed a complaint regarding the issue with the General Directorate of Police.
Explaining that the doctors who were subjected to investigation were also deprived of their right to write social insurance prescriptions, Özant stated that these doctors were also dragged into serious financial difficulties because their accounts were frozen and their online services were suspended.
“We observe that the issues within the scope of this investigation date back to 2021“, said Özant, adding that “The doctor accepts that the authorised officers affiliated with the Social Insurance Department Directorate will check and inspect whether the practices in the contract are in accordance with the contract signed between doctors and the Social Insurance Department”. He went on to ask why the staff at the Social Insurance Department had failed to act and call doctors and pharmacists to account two years ago.
“No attempt has been made to close the gap in the system, which is known to have existed in the past years. If the irregularities that existed in the past had been stopped as soon as they were noticed, the number of doctors and pharmacists would not exceed a few people and who would have been investigated and results would have been obtained“, he said.
Özant said, “We have to underline the existence of negligence and abuse of duty within the Social Insurance Department“.
Yeniduzen contacted Remzi Gardiyanoğlu, President of the Turkish Cypriot Private Physicians Association, regarding the issue, who said, “Both the Social Insurances and the past ministers are responsible for this matter. This incident has now turned into a political incident. Because right and wrong are mixed together. We have mixed the wheat and the chaff”.