Thirteen medical practitioners have been arrested for allegedly carrying out unnecessary medical operations for financial gain in a private medical clinic in Milan. The accused doctors are under investigation for 25 deaths in Milan's Santa Rita medical clinic, now referred to by the Italian media as the ‘clinic of horrors'.
Two doctors who have been arrested on charges of murder in the deaths of their patients are also accused of causing ‘harm or serious harm' to another 86 patients between 2005 and 2006. Eleven other doctors and the owner of the clinic are under house arrest for their alleged roles in performing operations that have been called ‘unnecessary' and ‘lucrative'.
Among the operations were the removal of a lung and at least two mastectomies for simple cysts. Surgeries were also performed on terminally ill patients. The operations were part of what prosecutors allege was an ongoing ‘system' set up to defraud state health funds in reimbursement claims.
Prosecutors Grazia Pradella and Tiziana Siciliano said ‘little did it matter that the clinic was supposed to cure patients: the result of the treatment was incidental; what counted was the financial return'.
It is alleged that through scores of fraudulent diagnoses and surgeries, medical personnel at the clinic lined their pockets with as much as 2,000 to 27,000 euro a month.