A British medical examiner has expressed concern about the level of care that members of British military families receive from doctors in Cyprus.
The forensic report by Suffolk County Medical Examiner Nigel Parsley concerned the death of 41-year-old Victoria Harold-Jones at her home inside the British Cape military base two days after Christmas 2019.
The primary cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, ie a thrombus in the lung, after a gastric bypass operation to which the 41-year-old had undergone eight days earlier.
According to the medical examiner, the deceased had been discharged two days after the operation from a clinic in Limassol. The next day, however, due to the intense pain she felt in her abdomen, which was due to peritonitis, an ambulance was called to her home.
The use of painkillers was recommended and for a few days, the patient stated that she was feeling a little better. On the morning of December 27, however, she died of a large clot that formed in her lungs.
The medical examiner attributed the fatal thrombosis to the fact that as it turned out the treating doctor stopped the administration of anticoagulant treatment for the blood as soon as the patient was discharged, that is, three days after the operation.
"This is a common practice for all patients in Cyprus," the forensic report said, with Mr. Parsley contrasting the rules of the UK health system, which stipulate that patients recovering from such surgery should continue to receive anticoagulant treatments for a period of "at least two weeks", even if they have been discharged.
Addressing the forensic report in addition to the 41-year-old's relatives and British Health Minister Ben Wallace, the medical examiner concludes: she was not treated after discharge which is not in accordance with the instructions of the competent British authority NICE (National Institutes of Excellence for Health Care) and which is below the level expected in the United Kingdom".
The medical examiner even called on the minister to take initiatives "to prevent future deaths" of Britons associated with the armed forces abroad.
In a first reaction to the forensic report, a spokesman for the British Ministry of Defense told the BBC: "The health of all our people within the defense community is a top priority. We are examining the areas identified by the medical examiner and we will provide a complete answer in due course".