Why Would The Federal Government Protect Dangerous Doctors?

A bombshell investigation has revealed that Thomas Franchini, a podiatrist who botched treatment of veterans in 88 separate cases, was allowed to resign from the VA Hospital system without discipline and go into private practice here in New York. Another dangerous doctor, a VA radiologist who misread dozens of CT scans, was paid $42,000 of unused sick and leave pay and allowed to resign from a VA hospital. That doctor, like Dr. Franchini, left the VA with a clean reference.

Even more shocking is that these were only two of about 230 secret settlement deals in which VA officials allowed dangerous doctors and medical staff to resign without discipline, allegedly promising to conceal serious mistakes and allowing these doctors to go into the private sector with unblemished records.

Although Dr. Franchini was found to have botched treatment in 88 separate cases, VA officials failed to report their findings to the national databank that tracks information on dangerous doctors. Don’t our veterans (and all patients) deserve better??

As reported by USA Today, VA policy recommends officials notify state medical licensing boards within 100 days of launching an investigation into medical workers who may have harmed patients. Despite the 230 secret settlement deals with problem doctors and medical staff, the VA provided USA TODAY with such reports for fewer than 50 employees in the past 10 years.

Medical errors are estimated to be the third leading cause of death in the US. Given this, along with the New England Journal of Medicine findings of that approximately 1% of all physicians accounted for 32% of paid malpractice claims, it is clear that a small percentage of doctors account for the majority of malpractice. When a doctor has been shown to have committed malpractice on more than one occasion, shouldn’t our Government want to protect its citizens from harm by reporting the malpractice, rather than covering up to protect the negligent doctor?

What do you think?


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