There is a growing problem of unlicensed healthcare in Nevada’s Latino community. Uncertified individuals in Nevada have been posing as qualified healthcare providers and have been illegally practicing medicine. Instances of malpractice are found in all areas of healthcare. The UNR Latino Research Center is creating a campaign that will focus on the most dangerous aspects of unlicensed healthcare - the medical procedures.
Carla wants Botox injections in her face, but she has heard these injections can be quite costly – upwards of $600. She starts asking around her community, talking with friends, family and neighbors. Carla hears that her friend’s sister knows someone who got a similar procedure done by a “doctor” – he only charged her $200 and did the procedure for her in her home. Carla gets the “doctor’s” phone number and sets up an appointment for him to come to her house. He brings all of his own equipment and speaks to her in medical jargon– assuring her that he is fully qualified and he’s actually a certified medical provider in his home country. The next day, Carla is in a lot of pain and she has to be rushed to the hospital. She later finds out that the “doctor” actually injected her face with industrial grade silicone and used tire sealant to close the wound. Carla has severe facial disfigurement and has to undergo many painful corrective procedures – and now she owes thousands of dollars in medical bills. This scenario is typical of what is going on throughout the state of Nevada – these unlicensed physicians are smooth and smart. They convince their victims that they are qualified; sometimes they even produce fake medical certificates and licenses. They say that they are certified medical providers in their home countries…and they vanish if something goes wrong.
In response to the growing public health concern, the UNR Latino Research Center, the Nevada State Health Division and former Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa are working together to build a campaign that will raise awareness to educate the community and help stop people from falling prey to these fake physicians.
Pass our information on! For this campaign to be successful, we need all of the right people involved – community leaders, faith-based organizations, public-interest groups etc. This is just the beginning and there is much more to come. Please help us by staying involved and encouraging participation to anyone who is interested or concerned.