Crime

Board says Beaumont doctor ‘continuing threat to public welfare’

A Beaumont anesthesiologist’s license has been restricted after concerns regarding his behavior with young patients during procedures.

The Texas Medical Board late last month ordered the restriction of Dr. Guoxin Wu’s license after determining not taking such action would pose as a “continuing threat to public welfare.” That decision was released this week.

Wu, 56, was immediately prohibited from seeing, examining, treating, prescribing, consulting on or otherwise practicing medicine on female patients, including telemedicine. A representative for the Medical Board could not immediately be reached for more information regarding the decision or the next steps in the process.

“Based on the reporting, Dr. Wu was the subject of complaints made by nursing staff for placing his hands under patient covers during the administration of anesthesia,” according to documents regarding the decision from the Texas Medical Board. “The temporary restriction remains in place until the board takes further action.”

The board said Wu was not board certified and has resigned privileges to the hospital while under investigation.

In May 2021, the Texas Medical Board’s staff learned the hospital reported Wu to the National Practitioner Data Bank. The data bank was established by the U.S. Congress to prevent practitioners from moving states without disclosing “previous damaging performance,” according to their website.

The Texas board later discovered that a nurse at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont in April reported witnessing three incidents within a period of six months that made her “feel uncomfortable.”

She was concerned that Wu was “inappropriately touching” patients, the documents said.

The next day, Wu voluntarily removed himself, at the behest of Baptist’s Chief of Staff, from all anesthesia schedules until a review of the allegations could be completed, the documents said. Wu also met with a quality improvement committee to discuss the allegations, the Texas Medical Board’s documents said.

Wu told the committee he “reached under the blanket to clean up patient stool following the procedure,” according to the documents. But the committee recommended Wu resign his privileges at the hospital based on “a trend of these allegations that cannot be ignored.”

After being asked to meet with the Medical Executive Committee on May 12, on May 17 Wu resigned his privleges, the documents said.

The next day, the hospital reported that Wu was the subject of complaints. He no longer has privileges at Baptist Hospital, according to hospital officials.

“Out of an abundance of caution to protect patients in the community,” the hospital turned the case over to the Texas Medical Board to conduct to their own investigation, according to Baptist Hospital spokesperson Stephanie Harris.

A summary of investigative findings provided to the Texas Medical Board by the Medical Executive Committee in mid-May shows Wu has previously been the subject of similar allegations.

“A total of eight incidents were reported by staff members from 2013 until present time,” the board said, noting that each case involved the same components.

The hospital took disciplinary measures in March 2019, which included the completion of a continuing medical education course, “Boundaries for Physicians: The Code of Medical Ethics,” within two weeks.

Wu “vowed to change the pattern of practice that resulted in the original complaints by Baptist staff,” the documents said.

“Despite corrective measures, the behavior repeated itself and culminated in the complaint made by (the nurse),” the documents continued.

Regarding the past complaints and disciplinary measures, Harris said Baptist has investigated all allegations when they were brought to light.

“Based on the reviews, actions were taken to address the issues found at the time,” Harris said.

Harris confirmed it is not uncommon for the physicians to be asked to participate in continuing education.

Wu has been actively practicing in the United States for 20 years and in Texas for 10 years, according to the Texas Medical Board.

He obtained his physician license, which is set to expire November 2022, in November 2009.

Written by Meagan Ellsworth

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