UNLICENSED CLINICS: Santa Ana Authorities Promise Crackdown
Santa Ana "[a]uthorities Friday issued a murder warrant for the arrest of a man accused of posing as a physician and botching treatment for a sick 13-month-old boy and accused his wife of tampering with medical records to cover up her husband's role in the child's death," the Los Angeles Times reports. The death of the boy "also has spurred an unprecedented crackdown on the dozens of independently run clinics in Santa Ana that are popular among impoverished immigrants." According to the Santa Ana police, beginning next week they will work with state medical investigators to create a task force to "verify the license of every physician working at a clinic within city limits." However, a spokesperson for the Medical Board of California said the agency was still studying the idea, which has not "been flushed out."
According to police, Gamaliel Moreno, who has been identified as a Mexican citizen and has fled the area, was charged with murder "because he was practicing without a licence when he delivered what authorities described as questionable medical care" to Christopher Martinez, who was suffering from "flu-like symptoms." According to the Orange County Medical Examiner's office, the boy died from "major organ failure due to dehydration," but officials are waiting for results from a toxicology test to determine the exact cause of death. The Medical Board of California "also confirmed Friday that the suspect was the focus of an investigation last year when he practiced medicine at another Santa Ana clinic" (Reza, 5/2).