A scandal has broken out in the Jose Maria Cabral y Baez Regional University Hospital in Santiago after several patients complained that they had been cheated by a false doctor who performed operations and consultations in the medical center. “Dr. Alcantara,” as he calls himself, has cheated at least seven patients from whom he took money from up front, thousands of pesos, in order to perform surgical operations and treatments. One of the alleged victims is Elvis Quiroz, 39, who was operated on by the imposter after suffering a traffic accident. The ‘doctor’ operated on his spinal column and left a total of 161 stitches. The patient had to be operated for a second time by doctors at Cabral y Baez since the operation by “Dr. Alcantara” was so poorly done. The fake doctor, who was working as a surgeon in the hospital emergency room, asked for RD$45,000 to operate on Quiroz, who paid RD$20,000 up front for the surgery.
Upon being questioned by reporters from Diario Libre, about controls on hospital personnel and the steps that should be taken in order to practice medicine, spokesman Sergio Garcia said that an investigation is under way. Garcia said that “Dr. Alcantara” is not registered as a doctor at the hospital, and said that anyone who has been defrauded should file a complaint with the Police. “We are also carrying out our investigation and we will check our security cameras in order to identify the imposter,” said Garcia.
A nurse who did not want to reveal her name for fear of reprisals said that last week “Dr. Alcantara” had Christmas dinner with several of her companions. It has also emerged that a doctor at the hospital, so far not identified, was detained for questioning for several hours, for alleged links with the cheating doctor. The plaintiffs met with hospital director Rolando Baez yesterday to present their problems.