According to documents received by the El Paso Politics, the Texas Medical Board has opened an investigation into Roberto Canales. Also, the El Paso Politics received a copy of a lawsuit filed by Roberto Canales in February against Anthony Buzbee and the Buzbee Law Firm. Buzbee is representing David Saucedo and his wife against Canales and the El Paso Children’s Hospital.
As the El Paso Politics reported on August 10, the Saucedos have filed a lawsuit against the El Paso Children’s Hospital, Roberto Canales and Rodolfo Fierro-Stevens over the death of their three-year-old daughter. The lawsuit alleges “grossly negligent care” by the two doctors and the children’s hospital. The lawsuit also alleges that Canales did not have the “necessary training and credentialing” to be treating patients at the hospital. An affidavit by a former El Paso Children’s Hospital supervising doctor states that Roberto Canales “presents a real danger to his patients and should be removed from the practice of medicine.”
Texas Tech Doctors Sidelined Temporarily
The El Paso Inc. reported yesterday that Texas Tech Health Services Center earlier this year objected to having its medical school students excluded from the children’s hospital after EPCH forged an exclusive agreement with Roberto Canales’ medical practice for his pediatric patients. According to the El Paso Inc. article, Texas Tech and the children’s hospital subsequently reached an agreement where Texas Tech would continue to work with EPCH.
Texas Medical Board Is Investigating
The El Paso Politics has been provided a copy of a letter dated on May 7, 2020 from the Texas Medical Board addressed to David Saucedo, the father of the little girl that died at EPCH.
According to the letter, the Texas Medical Board, is investigating Canales “to determine whether a violation of the Medical Practice Act has occurred.”
Saucedo Lawyer Sued
Also, the El Paso Politics has learned that Roberto Canales filed a lawsuit and an application asking for an injunction against Anthony Buzbee and the Buzbee Law Firm on February 25, 2020. Buzbee represents the Saucedos in their lawsuit.
According to the Canales lawsuit, “from Thursday, February 11, 2020, until February 14, 2020, the Buzbee Law Firm” published an advertisement in the El Paso Times asking for parents of Roberto Canales’ medical practice who have a child who was “injured or died while receiving treatment from Dr. Roberto Canales” to contact the law firm.
The Canales lawsuit also states that “from Friday, February 14, 2020, and continuing until Wednesday, February 19, 2020, the Buzbee Law Firm” also ran a similar advertisement in El Diario.
The Canales lawsuit also alleges that the Buzbee Law Firm also posted a Facebook advertisement on February 20, 2020.
According to the Canales lawsuit, the Buzbee advertisements “are defamatory, false,” and “misleading”.
Roberto Canales, in addition to seeking damages, is also requested an injunction prohibiting Buzbee from publishing further advertisements.
The Canales lawsuit is currently under appeal at the Court of Appeals, according to online court records.
News Media Coverage
Except for the coverage by the El Paso Politics, El Diario and the El Paso Inc., the local news media has mostly ignored the lawsuit. KVIA News ran a small, unsigned blurb online on August 25, 2020. KVIA included the lawsuit documents in their online blurb.
In a Facebook Messenger exchange with an El Paso Times reporter on August 25, 2020, the Times reporter stated that the El Paso Times “courts reporter was covering that… then suddenly was out for surgery.” The reporter adds, “I promise it’s not a conspiracy” for not covering the lawsuit. The reporter added that “fewer than a dozen reporters” have to cover “2 million since we cover Juarez too.”
As of this morning, the El Paso Times has not covered the lawsuit against the El Paso Children’s Hospital and Roberto Canales.
Shame on the TMB! Shame on Providence/Tenet! While Dr. Canales and El Paso Children’s are beyond culpable in this tragic case, it is the aforementioned organizations that are at fault for colluding on the greedy and corrupt practices that have allowed Canales to build his faulty empire. Where was the TMB when Canales was settling multiple medical malpractice cases? Where were they when Medicaid levied a million dollar fine against him? Where were they when he created his 3 pediatric puppy mills churning out poor care delivered by inadequately trained mid-levels and J1 Visa providers? Where were they when Providence/Tenet allowed him (lacking proper Board Certifications) to run their Pediatric ICU and Hematology/Oncology Programs? If they are the organization tasked with protecting our children from medical greed and corruption then SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!
We KNOW why Providence/Tenet continued their deal with the devil; Tenet sent Canales packing in the mid 90’s when they bought Providence. They knew it was TOTALLY WRONG to allow a general pediatrician to self refer his patients to the hospital programs that he ran and from which he received compensation based on volume (violation of Stark Law?). Was your child REALLY sick enough for the PICU; maybe your rich insurance benefits inspired that decision? Canales went across the street to Las Palmas where the even more corrupt HCA (remember the largest Medicare fine EVER?) welcomed him with open arms. BUT when Tenet saw how the lost Canales revenue dropped their bottom line, they ran across the street and begged him to return. This was the moment when Tenet SOLD OUT the children and families of El Paso. They decided to ENABLE Dr. Canales in exchange for big money: QUID PRO QUO! And there was added fallout; every time Providence tried to recruit board certified PICU doctors and Pediatric Specialists, Canales blocked it by making those MD’s feel unwelcome (this is WHY we needed El Paso Children’s Hospital). And to those who claim Dr. Canales is the BEST because he slept on the floor beneath their child’s hospital bed, I say that’s because he ran off all the potential BACK-UP. Sleep deprived MD’s are unsafe and I don’t want under prepared Nurse Practioners or an exhausted MD that lacks the proper credentials caring for my child in the ICU…DO YOU?
But for 25 YEARS Tenet has turned a blind eye and the BEST strategy Jacob Cintron and his hench woman Cindy Stout could devise to put El Paso Children’s Hospital in the black, was to LURE Canales over to commit the SAME fraud. If not for Dr. Tom Mays (Franklin Mt State Park was originally named for his father, a prominent El Paso politician) and bereaved father David Saucedo, this horrific scam would continue until Dr. Canales retired or died. Dr. Mays knows El Paso deserves good pediatric services and Mr. Saucedo knows that most victims of this scheme don’t know they have been scammed. They take their $250K malpractice settlement and because they are humble and uneducated…they are grateful. BUT FINALLY these villains have met their match: Mays, Saucedo and Buzbee. I hope the bad guys: Tenet, Canales & Fierro-Stevens (and the Juarez MD mafia covering for each other), Cintron, Stout, Howe, Spurbeck, Yates, Moorthy and Orlandi get what they deserve. Our children will continue to suffer because sadly, it will take us years to recover from this debacle.
What Chuco Chingona left out of an otherwise spot-on analysis is the complicity of the Childrens Hospital Board of Directors in this debacle. That they allowed this to happen shows a woeful lack of oversight of the CEO and hospital operations. They should be hanging their heads in shame. Of course they will use the CEO as a scapegoat (not that she doesn’t deserve it) and wash their hands of the matter.
It is not surprising that Dr. Yates could so easily be manipulated into trying to push for Dr. Canales privileges. When he came to El Paso they set up a surgery program for him and gave him $$$ in resources. They own him now. As for Dr. Moorthy, his wife used to be on the Board. A little research reveals that as a condition of coming out of bankruptcy, all the Board members had to be replaced. Is it a coincidence that now his professional partner’s wife is on the Board? I don’t know much about the other doctors on that list.
The fact that Dr. Canales has to “ride to the rescue” so often could be that he doesn’t pay enough attention to his critically ill patients to ANTICIPATE AND PREVENT complications. And when he treats the consequences of his lack of expertise he looks like a hero to the patient and parents.
All this has the smell of bad chorizo. Break out the popcorn folks because this could get interesting. I just hope the children’s hospital doesn’t end up as a casualty. The children of El Paso have done nothing to deserve that.
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