MONTEVIDEO – The consumer group Movimiento Salud para Todos reported Wednesday that it is investigating 250 complaints of suspicious deaths in hospitals across Uruguay, where the public was stunned earlier this week by revelations that nurses had murdered 16 patients at Montevideo clinics.
“The volume of information we have at this time is impressive,” the group’s president, Ruben Bouvier, told Efe.
He said that his cellphone’s voicemail box crashed in the days following the news about the Montevideo killings and that he had received dozens of text messages from potential plaintiffs.
The organization sent a letter to Judge Rolando Vomero, who is handling the case of nurses Ariel Acevedo, 46, and Marcelo Pereira, 39, asking him to review the information received by Bouvier.
Acevedo has been accused of 11 murders at Asociacion Española, a prestigious private clinic, while Pereira is suspected in five deaths at the Hospital Maciel.
To organize the information it will present to the court, Movimiento Salud para Todos next Saturday will hold a meeting at a Montevideo hospital to which all the accusers are being called.
“The people on Saturday are going to bring in writing, chronologically, the situation of their relative, the timetable of death, who treated them, where, how they died,” among other details, Bouvier said.
He is convinced that “there are more angels of death” in Uruguay, although he did not venture to guess how many.
“We’ve been dealing with this situation in Uruguayan health care for the past five years and it’s been getting worse, not only in the public sector, but also in the private one,” he said.
Bouvier said that “neglect, lack of controls” had contributed to the deaths, adding that “all that leads to impunity and to things happening that are not investigated.”
“The relatives receive the communication from a doctor who says that their relative died, they accept the story, they bury him and it’s over, although sometimes the story is, in reality, different,” he said.
He also said that “in general, the affected families are very poor people” and that “the cultural level has much to do with all this,” because for those people “someone with a white coat is a god, that’s the only word” to describe it. EFE