Friday, August 1, 2008

Illinois licenses known dangerous doctors

"Indefinite suspension"? Umm, what about barring this "doctor" from ever practicing medicine in the state of Illinois? He is barred from practicing medicine in Massachusetts.

What about criminal charges for "bad doctors"?

It seems to me as though Democrat leaders (Obama and Durbin) wanted a swift resolution of this matter because there was the "medical malpractice reform act" still being resolved in Illinois.

The "Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation" should never have licensed this doctor after he was disciplined in Massachusetts. The public is simply not being protected by the mega multi-tasking agency (IDFPR).

License of Illinois VA doctor suspended

Illinois medical regulators on Wednesday indefinitely suspended the license of a surgeon under scrutiny in a string of deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Southern Illinois.

Dr. Jose Veizaga-Mendez, 69, agreed to the suspension as part of a deal reached with the state late last month, resolving an investigation Illinois regulators launched over circumstances that led him to surrender his Massachusetts license last year.

The Illinois Medical Disciplinary Board approved the agreement Wednesday. Daniel Bluthardt, the head of the state's Division of Professional Regulation, immediately signed the order.

The board's action was unrelated to any conduct by Bolivian-trained Veizaga-Mendez at the Marion, Ill., VA hospital, from which he resigned Aug. 13, three days after a Kentucky man apparently bled to death after undergoing gallstone-removal surgery Veizaga-Mendez performed.

After Veizaga-Mendez's departure, the VA hospital suspended surgeries while investigating the deaths of nine veterans — all in some way linked to Veizaga-Mendez, Sen. Dick Durbin has said — within in a six-month period ending in March.

Durbin and Sen. Barack Obama, both Illinois Democrats, had clamored for the state to take swift action against Veizaga-Mendez, saying the state should not wait until a December disciplinary hearing. In a letter Tuesday to Illinois' top medical regulator, the lawmakers suggested any state inaction could endanger patients.

Wednesday's meeting was the first since the consent order was signed, said Susan Hofer, an Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation spokeswoman. An attorney for the department signed the agreement Sept. 24, six days before Veizaga-Mendez did.

Veizaga-Mendez has no listed telephone number in Illinois and Massachusetts and has been unreachable for comment. Hofer said an indefinite suspension "has exactly the same result as a revocation," meaning Veizaga-Mendez either way "may not practice medicine or hold himself out to be a licensed physician in Illinois."

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