Nevada state health officials are cracking down on unlicensed doctors and dentists performing surgeries and other medical care. This follows a rash of arrests involving unlicensed providers rendering various treatments. The end results, according to published reports, have been patient complications, and in even some cases, death.
It’s another sting to those who seek medical care and who are uninsured. The recent recession has prompted some who are uninsured to either seek alternative forms of treatment or even delay treatment altogether.
The problem seems to be more prevalent in the Latino community. The Associated Press reports the Las Vegas office of the Consulate of Mexico has gotten involved and is undertaking a new program to inform citizens in the Latino community of the dangers of seeking unlicensed medical care.
“Every group that is uninsured and underinsured is vulnerable to this situation,” said Atzimba Luna, a community affairs officer with the Mexican Consulate in Las Vegas, in a recent AP interview. “There are real health needs that are not being really addressed, and people are trying to seek needed treatment by going to these places.”
So what can we do to avoid this scenario in Nevada?
Patients need only to do a search on the website of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners to verify a provider’s licensure.
Douglas Cooper, board executive, told the AP: “You treat people, you don’t abandon them…And no one gets treated in a back room.”
HHSC, of course, is committed to providing free medically necessary surgery to qualifying individuals who lack insurance and do not have the means to pay for surgery. While we can’t meet the need alone, we are encouraging other doctors to join our cause and do their part to provide charity care as often as they are able.