By Jennifer Leighfield • 18 November 2020 • 15:43
A MAN who snuck into a Barcelona hospital, did a full 12-hour shift as a doctor and even signed a death report, may have had coronavirus while in contact with patients.
According to national newspaper 20minutos.es, the events took place during the worst peak of the pandemic, in April, when the 22-year-old went to work at Sant Joan de Deu Hospital in Martorell, Barcelona with a false CV.
He was arrested by Mossos d’Esquadra at a private clinic where he also had a position.
Barcelona Court rejected the appeal presented by his defence and he remains in prison on remand without bail because he is considered to be a flight risk. It is thought he could commit further crimes, as the situation in the health care sector is still critical and he is an expert at forging official documents and degrees, he may be hired unknowingly.
He may be charged with a crime against public health if it is discovered that he did in fact have COVID-19 when he accessed the hospital.
His defence claims that he needs psychiatric care which is not available in Can Brians prison where he is being held.
He is charged with practising a profession without a license, identity theft, falsehood, aggravated fraud and disobeying the authorities.
He already had a record for fraud, driving without a license and violent robbery.
He had been carrying out health-related activities in different places, including prescribing and giving treatment, discharging patients and signing death certificates, despite having no medical qualification at all.
Sant Joan de Deu Hospital is appearing as the injured party, the head of the hospital has confirmed, explaining that at the time he was hired, a hundred people were dying in Cataluña every day and thousands of health care professional were off sick because of COVID 19.
The young man provided photocopies of documents ‘proving’ he was a doctor, although they were all forged. He even provided a false date of birth, making himself 10 years older, 20minutos.es reports, and pay receipts from other medical centres where he claimed to have worked.
It takes several days for the human resources area to review and certify staff qualification, but due to the lack of staff, he started on Monday, April 6, first for eight hours training and then to do a 12-hour shift in the emergency department.
Although he was never alone, he did prescribe medication and certified the death of a 79-year-old man. This patient’s relatives have taken legal action against the hospital.
The following day when it was discovered that his documents were forged, the hospital called him and he hung up, he was arrested the next day, April 8, at the private clinic where he was working and his home was searched.
Police found real health and emergency equipment used by firemen, civil protection, the Red Cross, ambulances and the Emergency Medical Service at his home.
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Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics.
Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.
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