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Greek Doctors Granted Sick Leave to Supervisor Hours after Train Disaster

Greek doctors sick leave
The supervisor of the station master at Larissa was granted sick leave without seeing a doctor. Credit: AMNA

Two doctors were suspended pending a disciplinary inquiry after it emerged that they granted 30 days of sick leave to the supervisor of the station master at Larissa just hours after the deadly train collision.

The doctors at a hospital in Volos granted sick leave to the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) employee responsible for supervising the station master who was on duty in the nearby city of Larissa on the night of last week’s collision, and whose actions appear to have contributed to the accident, which claimed 57 lives.

The Greek station master has been jailed pending trial. He faces multiple charges of disrupting transport and putting lives at risk. The transport safety charge potentially carries a life sentence.

The lawyer of the 59-year-old said that his client was improperly left to manage the network alone, in violation of safety regulations.

Doctors grant sick leave by remote

The supervisor reportedly produced a formal sick note signed by two doctors at the Volos General Hospital, without, however, having been seen by either or having undergone any kind of medical examination.

A statement by the Health Ministry said that an urgent investigation was launched to examine the terms and conditions by which doctors granted sick leave to Nikos Haftouras shortly after the tragic accident.

Meanwhile, Haftouras was expected to run as MP in the region of Magnisia on the PASOK ticket in the next general election.

Following the revelations of his involvement in the issuing of an apparently bogus sick leave certificate, the socialist party on Tuesday decided to strike his name from its list of candidates, “even though this lapse is not directly related to the tragedy.”

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