Beds for patients in a hospital ward – illustrative photo.
Bucharest – Romanian prosecutors announced today that they have opened criminal charges against five doctors suspected of reusing heart implants removed from dead patients in hundreds of cases. This was reported by the Reuters agency.
One of the five doctors was taken into custody on suspicion of abuse of authority and accepting bribes, the prosecutor's office said in a statement. According to the Digi24 server, he is the head of a cardiology clinic in the eastern Romanian city of Jasy.
The detainee supervised four other doctors who provided him with heart devices removed from deceased patients without their or their families' prior consent, the prosecutor's office said. .
According to the investigators, the doctor performed 238 operations during the seven years from 2017, during which he illegally operated on patients with implants obtained from deceased patients or devices of unknown origin, exposing them to the risk of serious health complications or death.
“A large proportion of the implants recommended by the doctor (…) were not necessary and were placed based on false diagnoses or previously prescribed drugs that triggered specific symptoms,” the statement said.
The Romanian health care system is one of the least developed in the European Union, it is also burdened by corruption, inefficiency and politicized management. The state has built only one hospital in the last 30 years, spends the least amount of money on health care in the EU, and tens of thousands of doctors and nurses have gone abroad, Reuters recalled.