By Oriol Guell
Political corruption and corporate fraud have come together in the Catalan city of Reus (Tarragona) to create an unprecedented medical crisis in Spain.
For several months, a public hospital was using defective or expired surgical orthopedic implants after hospital chiefs were pressured by city officials to buy their supplies from a local provider called Traiber.
Now, after reviewing 1,700 cases at Sant Joan de Reus Hospital, doctors have called in 250 patients and ordered new surgeries for at least 20 of them in order to extract the faulty items.
The case first came to the attention of the authorities in October, when Traiber employees decided to file a complaint against their own bosses
Meanwhile, nearly 6,000 patients across Spain who are walking around with Traiber knee, hip and backbone implants have been put under observation, according to the head of the Spanish Medicine and Health Product Agency (AEMPS), Belén Crespo.