In South Korea, ‘Ghost Surgical procedures’ Result in Cameras in Hospitals

In Could of final yr, video footage emerged from a spinal clinic, Incheon twenty first Century Hospital, that confirmed nursing assistants performing incisions and placing in sutures. Choi Jeong-kyu, a lawyer who has represented medical malpractice victims, mentioned he obtained the footage from somebody who had labored on the clinic and recorded it secretly. Mr. Choi handed it on to the broadcaster MBC.

Nineteen surgical procedures had been captured within the footage, which confirmed three nursing assistants working on sufferers’ spines. Surgical machines buzzed because the assistants, trying by a medical microscope, used them on sufferers’ bones and bloody gauze piled up on one aspect of the surgical desk. Throughout every operation, a surgeon finally appeared and labored on the affected person for about 5 minutes.

“They had been treating sufferers like objects on a conveyor belt in a manufacturing facility,” Mr. Choi mentioned. “It’s horrifying.”

After the video emerged, prosecutors filed swimsuit towards the clinic. 5 docs, three of whom had been the clinic’s administrators, and three nursing assistants had been arrested in August. In February, a court docket discovered them responsible of unlicensed medical practices and fraud. They had been sentenced to as much as two years in jail and fined as much as 7 million gained, about $5,700, every.

The clinic’s administrators — Hyun Yong-in, Jung Hyun-tae and Lee Wan-soo — had booked as many sufferers and surgical procedures as doable when staffing ranges had been low, the court docket discovered. That they had carried out the crime “systematically” and “for the aim of revenue,” and had “undermined sufferers’ respectable belief in docs and medical establishments,” the decision learn.

The defendants have appealed the decision. Not one of the docs’ medical licenses had been completely revoked. The clinic has closed. And the case boosted assist for the digicam mandate, which works into impact in September 2023. Attorneys for the defendants, reached by telephone, declined to remark, citing the pending attraction.


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