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[healthfraud] Donsbach's quack Tijuana hospital closed again


[healthfraud] Donsbach's quack Tijuana hospital closed again

This is really good news for all of us. Penni Crabtree and Anna Cearley
have done an amazing job.


Baja clinic known for unorthodox care closed

Official: Unauthorized services were provided

By Anna Cearley
and Penni Crabtree

September 13, 2007

TIJUANA – For the second time in two years, Baja California health
authorities Tuesday shut down an alternative health clinic that provided
unorthodox treatments to mostly gravely ill U.S. patients.

The clinic, promoted over the Internet by its San Diego-based marketing
arm as Hospital Santa Monica, originally was closed in early 2006 after
civil rights activist Coretta Scott King died there.

It had since quietly reopened without a permit under the name Centro de
Atención Integral, Baja California health officials said. But the clinic
was still peddling the unproven treatments of its founder, Bonita
businessman Kurt Donsbach, under the Hospital Santa Monica moniker.

This time, the Rosarito Beach clinic was providing unauthorized
services, said Jose Guadalupe Bustamante Moreno, the state's secretary
of health. Health authorities also documented 11 irregularities such as
incomplete medical records, improper storage of medications and
propaganda of unorthodox treatments.

The unorthodox treatments, promoted on the Hospital Santa Monica Web
site, included treating cancer with insulin and unproven, experimental

Similar irregularities were documented last year at the clinic. The
78-year-old widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. died there in
January 2006, though the hospital said at the time that her treatment
hadn't begun. It was closed a month later.

Bustamante said the new clinic had obtained a “notice of operation,”
which is the first step toward obtaining a permit.

It presented itself to Mexican health authorities as a provider of
regular clinic services and was never authorized to provide alternative
medicine, he said. Donsbach's name never appeared in documents.

“They aren't doing what they told me they would do,” Bustamante said.

Several patients or patient family members treated at the clinic in
recent weeks have said Donsbach was regularly there and presented
himself as the person in charge.

The Web site for Hospital Santa Monica last week said all therapies at
the clinic are “selected and are coordinated by Dr. Donsbach.”

Donsbach, who has a 1996 felony conviction for tax evasion and smuggling
illegal medicines across the border, has no medical degree and isn't
licensed to practice medicine in Mexico or the United States.

Carlos Negrete, Donsbach's attorney, said his client is a “nutritional
consultant” and doesn't treat patients. He acknowledged that Mexican
officials have “temporarily interrupted” clinic operations and said the
clinic is challenging the closure in the Mexican court system.

Yesterday, the Hospital Santa Monica Web site wasn't operational.
Negrete said the Web site is “undergoing routine maintenance and updating.”

The clinic closure follows a story in The San Diego Union-Tribune on
Sunday about the clinic's latest incarnation and its continued marketing
as Donsbach's Hospital Santa Monica.

The clinic is one of numerous alternative health care facilities that
have opened in the Tijuana area over the past few decades. Many are
controlled by U.S. citizens who register the facilities through Mexican
operatives to avoid detection by local health authorities.

The alternative clinics lure mostly U.S. patients with promises of
potential cures. Many medical experts dismiss the treatments offered by
such clinics as dubious at best and potentially dangerous at worst.

“Cross-border clinics have been problematical for years, and they seem
to keep rising from the dead,” said Dr. Robert Baratz, acting president
of the Massachusetts-based National Council Against Health Fraud. “Every
time you think they've been stopped from doing these shenanigans, they
reincarnate with a new name and new front people, but usually the same
people behind them.”

Bustamante said health officials failed in previous visits to the clinic
to detect that it was operating because patients apparently were being
kept at nearby hotels. No patients were at the clinic Tuesday, but
health authorities said they found documentation on nine.

Bustamante said Baja California is trying to build its reputation as an
option for U.S. citizens to obtain affordable, quality health care with
the opening of modern, private facilities.

Clinics such as the one closed Tuesday have no place there, he said.

“We don't want them because it affects our other doctors and clinics and
we lose credibility,” Bustamante said.

Penni Crabtree: (619) 293-1237; penni.crabtree [bat] uniontrib.com

Matthias Rath hatte Dominik Feld hierhin gebracht:






"Hospital Santa Monica





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