Doctors are scandalized by the destruction of medical records at Luis E. Aybar
SANTO DOMINGO. A major scandal has begun among doctors and citizens alike about the destruction of clinical records at the Luis Eduardo Aybar hospital to the point of calling it a crime against humanity and a violation of patient rights.
Asked separately, doctors Jose Silie, president of the health commission at the Dominican Republic Science Academy; Darlin Olivo, president of the Dominican Foundation of Medical Rights and Legal Medicine; Santiago Castro, medical historian; and Santo Ramirez, president of the Medical Specialties Society said that the destruction of these documents was a mistake which threatened the historical memory in the country concerning health matters..
Yesterday journalists were prohibited from entering the area where the demolition is happeneing where the records were thrown, while the Directors General of the Coordination of Public Services in Health Care (DGCSS) and of the Metropolitan Heath Region, Ramon Alvarado and Felix Hernandez, called a press conference for today at 11.00 in the morning to give their versions of the matter.
The doctors who were consulted said that the records should have been encoded and handed over to the National General Archive, because they are a reference to the medical history of the country.
They explained that the fact that many of the records belonged to people who had died, does not mean they should be destroyed; rather they should have been kept for future studies.
Silie felt that the valuable material should have been kept because it is the fundamental history of thousands of the patients which in the future could cause a tragedy as they have not been kept.
He said that as well as containing patients’ medical history, the records also involved hundreds of hours of work by the doctors and were used as a basis to determine what illnesses Dominicans suffered from at different time periods.
“When I saw these photos, I felt intense pain, because I worked in this hospital, I did my internship there and this is a crime against humanity,” said Silie.
For her part, Doctor Olivo described the shame of losing the clinical archive and a violation of the law and ethical principles.
“Clinical history does not belong the the State, it only belongs to the patient, and if the State or any other wants to destroy it, they can only do so with the written authorization of the patients,: she said.
She said that every 10 or 20 years they would throw away the records of the deceased patients as they needed the space, but that this does not mean they were destroyed as they also contained professional secrets.
Meanwhile, the doctor and historian Castro said that the situation was a major problem for the patients because the records contained details of the illnesses, development, treatments followed each day in the hospitals.
Doctor Santo Ramirez, representing the Specialized Societies, remembered that the material destroyed belonged to poor patients who would come back to the hospital within two years looking for medical help and the continuation of their medical treatment.
He said that just as they found a place for those who worked in the hospital so that they could keep working, they should have done the same with the medical records.
Category: DR News |