Friday, August 28, 2009

Unlicensed Doctors at DMHSA

Medical examiners board investigating physician practicing without license
By Janjeera Hail
Published Aug 28, 2009

It's not the kind of news anyone wants to hear a doctor practicing without a license. That's apparently what's under investigation when it comes to a physician recently hired at the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Already facing a mountain of legal troubles that could lead to federal receivership, the agency was hit with another blow last week when a complaint was filed with the Guam Medical Examiners Board regarding psychiatrist Dr. Ione DeJesus' lack of a proper license to practice.

Acting director Jason Tedtaotao said that DeJesus arrived on Guam earlier this month, saying the physician, "Provides psychiatric services, medical services in the mental health area." Dr. Patrick Santos sits on the Guam Board of Medical Examiners and has been assigned to the subcommittee in charge of investigating the complaint against Dr. DeJesus. He says that the physician, who is already licensed in the state of New York, is qualified.

But the issue stems from the type of license that she was applying for here on Guam.

Santos explained, "But apparently some minor items were missing and until we get that we cannot issue a license yet, but we could have easily issued a temporary license, which is good for six months. But unfortunately, the Department of Mental Health wanted a full licensure."

Dr. Santos along with the investigatory committee will continue to review the complaint and hope to have the issue resolved by next week's board meeting. No word yet on what the repercussions could be, but this ordeal has highlighted shortcoming within the administration at Mental Health.

"It sheds some credibility issues on the administration at Mental Health," noted Santos. "I'm sure they were aware of licensing procedures and protocols, and unfortunately maybe they should have gotten a temporary license first."

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