More is being learned about a controversial contract between UMC and the doctors involved with the hepatitis outbreak.
County commissioners gave Dr. Dipak Desai and his company a nearly $1 million dollar contract to refer patients at the hospital to his clinics.
Desai is the head of the medical centers at the heart of the hepatitis scare. UMC and the Clark County Commission paid Desai $84,400 a year head up their Gastroenterology department. They also paid salaries of $36,000 to two of Desai's other doctors, Clifford Carrol and Vishvinder Sharma.
UMC also handed over $54,000 to the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada, the very clinic the county is currently investigating. If that wasn't enough, in March of 2007, Desai canceled the contract, turned right back around and asked for a $1 million dollar raise. With few options and with the health industry's blessing, county commissioners negotiated it down to $750,000 a year for Desai. But despite the new contract with the county, Desai performed no procedures at UMC in 2007 and instead sent hundreds of clients to his clinics.
There are still many questions. Why did the county spend that much? Why was Desai the only option? But most of all, no one could answer what taxpayers got in exchange for their money.
The one thing UMC was able to talk about is the fact Desai's tactics at his clinics did not happen at the hospital. The contract, though, has been pulled for now. The University of Nevada School of Medicine is handling all new cases.
Eyewitness News did reach Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly late Wednesday afternoon. He was not on the commission at the time of the original contract and knew nothing about it. He did say it was disheartening what happened and that Desai has "no respect at all for the community."
Next week, commissioners will meet for a final vote on ending Desai's contract.
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