TIJUANA (Border Report) — Baja California health officials have shut down 12 cosmetic surgery hospitals and clinics in Tijuana, as they continue to investigate facilities that operate without proper permits or medical licenses throughout the state.
“We’ll shut them down if they don’t meet requirements and standards,” said Baja California Health Secretary José Adrián Medina Amarillas. “We’re talking about basic requirements that all facilities should have.”
Medina Amarillas added that half of the facilities forced to shut down were businesses calling themselves hospitals that were providing health care.
“Some didn’t have the semblance of a hospital but were still offering medical services and putting people’s lives at risk,” he said.
The health secretary said the goal is for these so-called clinics and hospitals to get regulated.
He also stated two plastic surgery centers where deaths have occurred recently have not been allowed to reopen and will remain closed.
Medina Amarillas said less than a month ago, a 36-year-old woman died during a cosmetic procedure at a private clinic called Diagnosis Hospital.
In June, María José Chacón Herrera, the wife of the Guatemalan Consul General in Denver, died at Hospital Jerusalem, which remains closed.
After Chacón Herrera’s death, it was discovered the hospital did not have the proper medical certifications and its surgeon did not have a license to practice medicine or perform surgical procedures.
Hospital operators have also been fined, but according to Baja’s health secretary, the sanctions have not been paid.
Medina Amarillas’ office says there are about 200 facilities in Tijuana offering cosmetic surgical procedures and that all are being screened to make sure their credentials are valid and up to date.