Guatemalan diplomat’s wife dies after cosmetic surgery in Tijuana

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Jerusalem hospital closed and fined $1.9m

SAN DIEGO (border report) – The person who performed a fatal cosmetic procedure on the wife of a Guatemalan diplomat did not have a surgical license, Mexican media reported Thursday.

Tijuana’s El Imparcial newspaper and another Baja California news publication report that María José Chacón, 38, died on July 4 after being taken by ambulance to the Red Cross hospital in Tijuana.

She was the wife of Henry Giovanni Ortiz, the Consul General of Guatemala in Denver.

Doctors reportedly told her she died of organ failure following cosmetic surgery on June 24.

“After the inspection, it was determined that there was no medical accreditation for this person posing as a doctor at this facility,” Erwin Areizaga, head of the Protection Against Crime Commission, told reporters. Baja California health risks. “Investigators discovered that the doctor in charge of the clinic had died earlier and that is why this institution did not have a license.”

According to the reports, Areizaga says staff at the Jerusalem hospital ignored the state’s shutdown order, but continued to perform medical and surgical procedures. The facility also reportedly operated an illegal on-site pharmacy.

He said the hospital had been closed and cordoned off, but staff members reportedly removed the seals on the doors and admitted more patients.

“People were practicing medicine and nursing without degrees or accredited professional licenses,” Areizaga said. “The hospital was fined 38.5 million pesos (about $1.9 million) which has not been paid.”

Baja California Governor Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda said she would introduce a bill to the state congress to “avoid these types of charlatans.”

“All patients who request surgery must have the assurance that they will be cared for by first-level physicians at facilities in Baja California,” the governor said.

Americans often seek out drugs and medical care, including cosmetic surgery, south of the border because it’s much cheaper and more readily available.

Last month, the Mexican government launched a series of promotional campaigns for some of its states, and first on the list was Baja California, known as a “medical tourism” destination.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Baja California’s medical tourism industry tripled from 2014 to 2018, growing from 800,000 patients to 2.4 million and generating annual revenues of over $1.7 billion. Additionally, Baja California medical tourism industry officials believe it is in the financial interests of Tijuana practitioners to monitor each other to avoid unsafe conditions and infections, according to the report.

Dr. Santiago Horgan, professor of clinical surgery at the University of California, San Diego, told the Union-Tribune that he recommends people check credentials, rather than just looking at promotional marketing materials and online testimonials, which can be fabricated.

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