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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Surgeon barred in Mass. resigns in Illinois case, Tribune reports

A surgeon barred last year from practicing in Massachusetts after he was accused of providing "grossly substandard care," resulting in deaths and life-threatening complications, was operating on veterans at an Illinois hospital until last month, today's Chicago Tribune reports.

Dr. Jose Veizaga-Mendez resigned from the Marion VA Medical Center in Southern Illinois on Aug. 13, three days after one of his patients there bled to death after routine gallbladder surgery, the story says. Shortly after, inpatient surgeries were suspended at the hospital because a computer analysis had uncovered a spike in its number of post-surgical deaths.

In Massachusetts, the Board of Registration in Medicine last year accused Veizaga-Mendez of failing to report malpractice cases in which he was a named defendant, and of providing woefully inferior care to seven patients, according to the Tribune. He surrendered his Massachusetts medical license voluntarily in July 2006.

Yet the doctor continued to perform surgeries at the Marion VA, where he had been practicing since January of that year, the Tribune says. Veizaga-Mendez continues to hold a valid license to practice in the state of Illinois, though the state was alerted more than a year ago that he had surrendered his license in Massachusetts, where he had an office in Mansfield.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 07:42 AM
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