Background Checks For East Texas Doctors - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

12/03/07-Lufkin

Background Checks For East Texas Doctors

by Tashun Chism

Officials at Woodland Heights hospital in Lufkin say they never saw it coming.

"It was certainly a surprise. There's no doubt about it. I think it was equally a surprise to her, too," Woodland Heights CEO Lance Jones said.

The arrest of Dr. Priya Ramnath, an anesthesiologist who came to Lufkin 6 months ago, makes many East Texans wonder if hospital officials knew her background. 

Ramnath was arrested at Woodland Heights on manslaughter charges after the death of one of her former patients. It happened almost nine years ago in the United Kingdom.

Jones insists his staff did perform proper hiring procedures before Ramnath began working there.

"Some of the steps may confirm that a physician actually completed the training at their school of residency or where they completed their fellowship. They confirm whether they have a valid dea license for administrative drugs. It certainly confirms they have a valid Texas license," he told us.

Jones says Ramnath had all the proper credentials and her background check was clean. Ramnath also had privileges at Memorial Hospital in Lufkin. Memorial officials agree that Ramnath was qualified. They were also aware of the case in question.

"There had been no follow ups. There was nothing here in the United States pending regarding the position. And quite frankly, in this country, we consider people innocent until proven guilty," Memorial Hospital CEO Bryant Krenek said.

Both Woodland Heights and Memorial hospitals have suspended Ramnath's privileges pending the outcome of the legal process.

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