BRITISH DOCTOR INCARCERATED FOR DOING UNNECESSARY OPERATIONS
Surgeon Ian Paterson was declared guilty of 17 charges of hurt with the intent of causing severe corporal damages and 3 charges of illegal wounds by a Nottingham jury. Paterson lied to his patients regarding the necessity of operations with the purpose of profiting from them. Using patients’ fears regarding their conditions and possibility of developing cancer, Paterson convinced them into submitting themselves to more operations than necessary. Paterson was doing these types of operations since 1997 until 2011. Paterson was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Great Britain.
To read the complete article, see the following link http://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/internacionales/nota/encarcelanaunmedicoquerealizovariasoperacionesinnecesarias-2326447/.
VANGUARD RESOLUTION THAT ALLOWS CIVIL CASES TO BE VENTILATED BEFORE A JURY IN PUERTO RICO
On March 17, 2016, attorneys Pedro F. Soler Muñiz and Alejandro J. Fernández Muzaurieta, presented a torts complaint, specifically medical malpractice, in representation of Ms. Adlin Baez and her daughter, Joymar L. López Baez. In said complaint, jury trial was requested. On March 9, 2017, the Honorable José Alberto Ramos Aponte, Superior Judge at the First Instance Courthouse of Humacao, emitted a resolution throughout which it was authorized that said case be a jury trial.
Said resolution is on of vanguard, since in Puerto Rico only criminal cases are ventilated before a jury. Notwithstanding, according to the resolution, after an analysis of Puerto Rico’s actual status, and based on the recent jurisprudence from the Supreme Court of the United States, and after tempering the legislative, executive and judiciary history, the Honorable Ramos Aponte understood that the 7th and 14th Amendments of the United Stated Constitution are applicable to Puerto Rico. Therefore, being that Puerto Rico is a non-incorporated territory of the United States said amendments are applicable to Puerto Rico and therefore Puerto Ricans have, as a fundamental right, that civil cases, like the medical malpractice ones, be ventilated before a jury.
This resolution is an important moment for Puerto Rico’s legal system and we hope that other judges follow the Honorable Ramos Aponte’s steps.
FRAUD TO MEDICARE MAY AFFECT DESIGNATION OF FUNDS
According to the article “Fraude a Medicare trastoca imagen de la Isla” by Melissa Correa Velazquez, published on the newspaper El Vocero on February 26, 2017, Puerto Rico’s image has been affected by cases of fraud to Medicare, especially now when equity in the designation of funds to the Medicare program have been requested to the United States Congress. Said allegation by the College of Hospital Administrators and Healthcare Services and two economists, arises on the eve of the arrest of three doctors and three other people by the FBI. They were arrested due to a fraud scheme of Medicare for the amount of approximately 1 million dollar.
According to the article some people believe that said arrests affect the trust in Puerto Rico and the relationships with the Medicare program and that they will be adversely affect the request for more funds for said program, as well as to create bad publicity for the Island. On the other hand, others believe that said behavior should not be a reason to not assign more funds to the Medicare program in Puerto Rico, since there exists more fraud incidents in other states, such as the state of Florida and still they are assigned funds.
To read the complete article, see the following link http://elvocero.com/fraude-al-medicare-trastoca-imagen-de-la-isla/.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AS A CONSEQUENCE OF PLASTIC SURGERY DONE WRONG
The internet page El Espectador, on July 3, 2016, published an article titled “Las mujeres que se atrevieron a mostrar sus cicatrices por cirugías mal hechas” by Maria Paulina Baena Jaramillo, which contains the story of 9 women who submitted themselves to plastic surgeries and ended with adverse consequences. The article is accompanied by photographs of each one of the 9 women showing the result of the surgeries, each and every one of them the result of a medical malpractice. The article shows how during the last months it has been brought to light and it is being discussed the trend of doctors taking 6 month to 2 year courses in Brazil, obtaining “doubtful” diplomas from universities in Perú and Argentina. These doctors began doing these procedures having the endorsement from the Ministry of Education in Columbia and the bill that regulated these procedures was stopped by Congress.
The article shows the history of 9 women showing their physical damages through photographs. These women also express what their emotional and economic damages, among others are.
We include here a photograph of 21 years old Lorena Beltrán, who underwent a breast reduction surgery by Dr. Francisco Sales Puccini. Lorena states that she had a wound in the inferior part of her breast that did not closed correctly, that a finger fit said wound, that liquid began to pour out and she had to used hygienic towels in her braws, that doctor prescribed a dermatological medication which provoked a bad scar and that she had emotional changes, that she underwent a correction surgery which was worse, that it is traumatic to put on make-up on her breasts before her face.
Photograph: Christian Garavito
To read the complete article, see the following link http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/salud/mujeres-se-atrevieron-mostrar-sus-cicatrices-cirugias-p-articulo-641162
INSURANCE COMPANIES AND THE EXODUS OF DOCTORS FROM PUERTO RICO
Futile the Government’s actions to stop the exodus of doctors from Puerto Rico if healthcare plans do not open their preferential net stated Rafael Rodríguez, Secretary of the HealthCare Department, according to the article “Maniatado el gobierno en esfuerzo por mantener a los médicos en la Isla” by Leysa Caro González, published in the newspaper El Nuevo Día on February 15, 2017. Rodríguez indicated that if opportunity to become providers of insurance companies were not given to young and recently graduated doctors, they will end up leaving Puerto Rico. While Victor Ramos, President of the College of Surgeon Doctors agrees with Rodríguez, he also indicated that currently doctors have to wait around a year or year and a half in order to know if the insurance companies are going to employed them or not.
Ramos indicated that insurance companies have created what is known as preferential nets, which makes some doctors disappear since, even when the patient decides to be treated by these doctors, the deductible that they will pay is higher than what they would end paying if they are treated by a doctor that is part of the preferential net. He also stated that another factor for doctors to choose to leave Puerto Rico is the recent practice of insurance companies of unilaterally canceling contracts with the doctors and retaining and denying payments.
Currently, through the Resolution of Chamber 56, an investigation has been ordered over the following healthcare plans: Medicare Advantage, Triple-S Advantage, MCS Advantage, Centros de Servicio Medicare y Medicaid, Aveta y sus subsidiarias, MMM, PMS Medicare Choice y MSO of Puerto Rico. Rodríguez stated that the majority of the beneficiaries of Medicare in Puerto Rico belong to the “advantage” plans. He also stated that it is the Legislature and the Insurance Commissioner who have to make insurance companies to comply with the laws. Rodríguez expressed that, to his understanding, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner has not implemented its functions as it should.
To read the complete article, see the following link http://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/politica/nota/maniatadoelgobiernoenesfuerzopormanteneralosmedicosenlaisla-2291633/.