Plastic Surgery and Burns Hospital manager, two doctors arrested in illegal plastic surgery case

According to sources, they asked for EUR 450-3,400 fees for an intervention.

Three doctors of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Hospital, including the manager, were arrested yesterday for 30 days in a new corruption case regarding plastic surgery performed with public money, Bucharest Tribunal ruled. Other six doctors were detained for 24 hours on Friday, but they were released and are to be investigated at liberty.
The doctors are hospital manager Vitalie Stan, chief of plastic surgery section Nicolae Antohi, Aurelia Isac, Florica Gusa, Carmen-Elena Boiangiu, Ioan Costica Ghita Plujdescu, Florin Parasca, Ivan Vatamanescu and Elena Cristina Isac.
According to investigators, the doctors targeted in the case of plastic surgery asked for bribes between EUR 450 and 3,400, depending on the intervention, as the money was split among the members of the surgical team, and in case their reports were validated, the Health Insurance House of Bucharest paid almost RON 5,000 per surgical intervention.
The prosecutors of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bucharest Tribunal say that the suspects, doctors in plastic and reconstructive surgery, provided consultations to patients who wanted plastic surgery, both at the Clinic Emergency Hospital of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Burns, and at private clinics, claim the investigators.
“During the talks, the suspects told the patients they can opt out for the intervention to take place in a public hospital or in a private clinic, presenting them with the financial advantages (a lower price) they would have benefited from in case they chose a public health unit. In case the patients opted out for the intervention to take place in the hospital, like the suspects counseled them, the medical papers were drafted mentioning unreal diagnostic and type of medical intervention,” according to the Prosecutor’s Office. Twenty-six people are under criminal investigation for taking bribe, fraud and forgery.
The investigators made searches at the Burn Clinic and at 22 houses in Bucharest, including homes of doctors, where they found major sums of money. The investigators found EUR 170,000 at a doctor’s house, and RON 700,000 at another, according to legal sources quoted by Mediafax. A sum of EUR 50,000 was found at one doctor’s home and EUR 40,000 at another. More than a cumulated EUR 500,000 was found at those investigated, said the quoted sources. The medics who performed plastic surgery in the hospital used to ask for these interventions amounts much lower than the market price, which they got directly from the patients. For instance, about RON 5,000 was requested for a nose job, and about EUR 2,500 for a breast-enhancement intervention, said quoted sources.
Head of State accuses criminal system in Health
The criminal system at Health gave a good incentive in the University Plaza so that the Health Law should not pass, said President Traian Basescu yesterday during a debate of the Popular Movement, saying that what happened at the Burn Center is not an isolated case. “Those who make propaganda for sector cleaning go out in vain to tell us how clean is the sector and that only an accident led to the Burn Center incident. No, the health funds are defrauded in the hospitals on a regular basis, and almost everywhere. … As long as the Health criminal world blocks the introduction of health cards, the system will be defrauded. I have an utmost respect for doctors, but I assure them if they had not rejected so vehemently the Health Law proposed in January 2012, they would have gained at least how much they do now, but they did not want it,” said Basescu.
In the same train of ideas, Basescu said on Friday at a conference at Cotroceni Palace that Romania urgently needs a new health care law, calling on those responsible to examine the bill he intended to put up for public debate, together with former Prime Minister Emil Boc.

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