Medical workers in Albania are charged with abusing their posts by sending cancer patients elsewhere

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Two doctors and five other medical workers in Albania have been charged with abusing their posts by sending cancer patients for costly treatment elsewhere instead of providing free public care, the prosecutor’s office said Wednesday.

The prosecutors’ statement alleged that the workers with the public Oncology Hospital in the capital, Tirana, directed patients to private medical clinics where they had to pay. It was not immediately clear how many patients were affected.

“Their place is not at the public health system,” Health Minister Albana Kociu said of the accused, calling the events “a nasty history.”

If found guilty, the workers face up to seven years in prison.

Albania’s public health system has seen significant progress, but corruption remains rampant. The private system often is unaffordable for people in one of Europe’s poorest countries.

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