Americus-- An Americus psychiatrist says her privileges to admit and treat patients at Sumter Regional Hospital were wrongly suspended. Now, she is seeking $15 million in damages. This is the second such lawsuit against the hospital by an Americus doctor. Both claim they were unfairly treated because of their race.
We obtained a copy of the lawsuit, filed April 24th in U.S. District Court. In this lawsuit, Dr. Milagros Keh claims she was openly discriminated against because she is Filipino.
There are several incidents cited in this lawsuit, including allegations made by another psychiatrist that Dr. Keh tried to buy property from a mentally ill patient of hers, which is unethical. Dr. Keh was cleared after a peer review, but according to this lawsuit, this was just the beginning of a string of unfair claims against her character and her ability as a doctor.
According to the suit, the hospital's reasons for suspending Keh were based on her not complying with a site survey that is mandatory. The lawsuit cites a letter written by a hospital official to the National Practitioner Data Base in 2001, saying that Dr. Keh's privileges were suspended for "Alleged failure to document patient care, as well as incomplete records" and that the basis for the action was "unprofessional conduct" and "incompetence."
But Dr. Keh says that the hospital "maliciously" sought to terminate her privileges, which has resulted in her losing patients.
A spokesperson for Sumter Regional did not want to comment on Dr. Keh's lawsuit. Americus Doctor John Marshall also declined to comment on his lawsuit against the hospital. He is seeking $25 million in damages.