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Puerto Rico health sec'y resigns after deaths at public hospital

PUERTO RICO HEALTH | 13 de septiembre de 2013

After 10 patients died at a public hospital in Puerto Rico due to bacterial infection, Puerto Rico's health secretary, Francisco Joglar, resigned Friday, having blamed the medical center for not respecting the procedures recommended to keep the bacteria from spreading. EFE/File

San Juan, Sep 13 (EFE).- Puerto Rico's health secretary resigned Friday amid a controversy over the death of 10 patients at a public hospital due to a bacterial infection.

Francisco Joglar informed Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla of his "immediate and irrevocable" resignation, though he did not give any specific reasons for his decision, nor did he even mention the controversy.

"All my actions and decisions have been taken for no other purpose than what I have honestly understood to be the well-being of citizens and the protection of the best interests of Puerto Rico," Joglar said in his note.

This week it was revealed that over the past few months, 10 patients died who had been admitted to the intensive care unit of the University of Puerto Rico Hospital in the San Juan suburb of Carolina, something that from the first both the medical center and the island's health authorities linked to the spread of the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria.

Joglar on Thursday blamed the hospital for what happened, for not respecting the procedures recommended to keep the bacteria from spreading.

"It is unacceptable that any medical institution should violate the procedures for managing infections and so endanger people's health. This is a serious matter," he said.

For its part, the hospital's Board of Directors confirmed Friday that the director of the medical center, Domingo Nevarez, will remain in his position and that an investigation is underway.

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America in English