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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Comptroller’s report highlights backlog of unresolved cases before medical board


The Commonwealth Comptroller’s Office reported that the Medical Licensing and Discipline Board has had 160 unresolved cases of unprofessional conduct since 2001 and 408 unresolved cases of medical malpractice since 2003.

By The Star Staff


The Puerto Rico Comptroller’s Office on Tuesday issued a qualified opinion on the fiscal operations of the Medical Licensing and Discipline Board, in which it is revealed that the board attached to the Department of Health had 160 unresolved cases of unprofessional conduct since 2001, and 408 unresolved cases of medical malpractice since 2003.


A similar situation had been commented on in the DA-19 Audit Report 24 of May 9, 2019.


Law 38-2017, the Law of Uniform Government Administrative Procedure, establishes that all cases subject to an adjudicative procedure must be resolved within six months from their filing, except in exceptional circumstances. In addition, Law 139-2008, the Medical Licensing and Discipline Board Law, provides that the board must issue a report within 90 days of receiving any information on actions that constitute professional malpractice.


The situation, which is attributed to the shortage of lawyers, prevents the board from issuing a timely resolution in those cases where there is an imminent danger to public health and welfare, the comptroller’s report noted.


The audit of two findings indicates that the board does not have an inventory or retention plan for medical records and the filing area does not have adequate lighting or sufficient shelving. The situation, contrary to current regulations, makes it difficult for medical records to be kept in good condition and to be easily located.


The first report of the board covers the period from June 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021, and is available at www.ocpr.gov.pr.

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