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Government shuts down ‘illegal’ medical clinics, investigates some foreign health practitioners

Four medical clinics have been closed in Cuenca for lack of operating permits, unqualified staff and poor sanitation. In addition, the Agency for Quality Assurance for Medical Services (Acess) said it is conducting investigations of several area health care practitioners, including foreigners, who may be operating without proper education and licensing.

A medical clinic was closed Tuesday in Cuenca.

“We have received an increasing number of public complaints about medical staff who claim to be doctors or other health care professionals who do not have recognized graduate degrees or who are not licensed to practice in Ecuador,” says Bolívar González, Acess regional sanctioning director.

González added that his office is stepping up its investigations and enforcement operations in Cuenca and Southern Ecuador due to “unauthorized and sometimes dangerous” health practices being promoted primarily on the internet.

Gustavo Guamán, a Cuenca general practitioner, applauds Acess’ new strategy. “In recent years we are seeing a great deal of advertising on websites and social media for dubious medical and alternative health procedures and some of the health practitioners who advertise are not properly licensed and a few are fake doctors.” One of the clinics closed by Acess offered plastic and reconstructive but did not have a licensed doctor on staff.

He added that the local medical community is also concerned about experimental and alternative health care practices that have not been scientifically validated. “Acess has agreed to look into some of these cases since their purpose is protecting the public,” Guamán said.

An Acess staff member said investigations have been opened into the practices of seven foreign health practitioners. “We are early in the investigation and are looking at education and licensing credentials as well as health claims made by the practitioners,” he said. “Among those under investigation are two Chinese, one Korean and four U.S. citizens, all legal residents of Ecuador.”

Guamán urges the public to report suspicious health care and alternative health care practitioners in the Cuenca area through the Acess website,

19 thoughts on “Government shuts down ‘illegal’ medical clinics, investigates some foreign health practitioners

  1. about time, I have seen so many of these witch doctors advertising on Gringo Post I want to choke, I am guessing I know who some of these are, it should be interesting if they share names

    1. I’m sure we’ll find out soon. They will be on Gringo Post whining about big pharma, IMF, U.S. hegemony. And of course it will be Trump’s fault.

      1. Good to read those that understand the heinous role that big pharm IMF, u.s. hegemony and trump play in fake docs in Cuenca. It is a role that only trump understands.

  2. And of course the identities of these “medical” and alternative practices is not revealed because their rights are more important than the public’s.

    1. You can look up the degree and license status of any physician in the country on the Ministry of Public Health’s web site with nothing more than their cedula number. MSP does not recognize degrees in naturopathy or any of the other quack fields so if your “physician” is not on that list, they aren’t practicing real medicine.

      Ecuador also does not recognize chiropractic, but that’s more the fault of chiropractors in the US who for many years have clung to the 19th century subluxation model of disease, something European chiropractors have long since abandoned. Chiropractic is indeed effective as part of a comprehensive physical therapy program for a narrow set of pathologies. If your chiropractor is claiming that they can treat your asthma, allergies, heart failure or anything other than chronic back pain with chiropractic, they’re a quack and you should run for the hills.

      Remember folks, there’s no such thing as “alternative medicine”. Any treatment that demonstrates that it is effective in treating any disease through well-run randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials is called medicine.

  3. This story was on a morning talk radio show I listened to. The expats they’re investigating are the ones who give injections and blood infusions, not the ones who hook you up to the funny little machines the blinking lights or the spiritual advisers and massage therapists.

    1. I heard it too on “La Voz”. What they said was that there are some gringos doing medical things here that they would be arrested for in the US. They don’t have legitimate degrees, only degrees from the touchy-feelly alternate health care academies.

  4. Looks like it’s time to add to the old adage about “Never trust a Gringo with a business card” to never trust a Gringo with a stethoscope as well.

    1. More like never trust a naturopath, especially when they claim their treatment works because there is a vast international conspiracy to suppress it.

  5. What I heard on the radio interview is that they are checking practitioners who perform invasive procedures — basically those that stick needles in people. I agree these folks should be probably trained and credentialed.

    1. Larry Mac: Thanks; the only sane comment on here so far. So many hyper-pro-authoritarian people on the comment boards of CHL.
      The dicey part is that many “invasive” procedures are quite simple and highly unlikely to cause any problems. If the bar keeps moving further toward ridiculous degrees of oversight, you end up with corp/govt censorship and clampdown. Kinda like the USA…

  6. You may have heard that this is the way Chiropractics got such a bad rap in North America and has had such a hard time recovering. I don’t trust a lot of so called alternative medicine but let’s see if this will stop shamans from practicing indigenous medicine. It is currently recognized as part of the medical modalities in Ecuador and it would be a shame if that was lost due to a “we should be the only ones allowed to practice medicine since we are the only ones trained in a medical school”.

    What scares me is when I go to the doctor here and he quotes the American Medical Association guidelines for treatment. I suffered under those guidelines and lost my eyesight in one eye and thenl a trained physician in Cuenca found the underlying issue to my medical condition and prevented the loss of my other eye. That health professional never set foot in North America and was trained in Cuenca, Cuba and Argentina. A lot of us have found that we are healthier here than we were and a lot of that is due to a more cautious approach to health using less drugs and more common sense.

    I hope they don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

    1. Not sure what your doctor was telling you because the AMA doesn’t have any treatment guidelines. Guidelines are developed by various specialist organizations such as the American Heart Association or the Infectious Disease Society of America but like over 80% of practicing physicians in the US, they are not affiliated with the AMA.

  7. On ‘The Original Rife Machine’ facebook group, J. H. reports that he is healed of cancer; recently he was told it was terminal. A friend chose chemo, and is now incapacitated. Our choice, our bodies. From J.H. on his healing, ”
    My Oncologist just called me with my test results. I will post them as
    soon as it comes on line but my PSA was 970 0n 6/27 and now it has
    dropped to 1.8 in a very short period of time, They can find no sign of
    cancer for any of my tests but I will stay keep treating it with
    frequency for preventative maintenance. My oncologist was more excited
    than I was (I dont get excited easily) but I do not think they are used
    to seeing tests where the cancer patient recovers so fast.”

    1. The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data. You can expect anywhere from 1-5% of any “terminal” disease to go into spontaneous remission whether you treat it or not. That’s how biology works.

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