A DOCTOR has been sentenced to two years in prison for injecting children with saline solution while charging parents for vaccinations against diseases such as measles and chicken pox.
The physician, who was identified by the court in Valencia as “Bernarda”, charged parents between €60 and €1,200 to vaccinate their children against the illnesses.
Bernarda reportedly committed the crimes while working in the Carlet medical centre and a private hospital in La Ribera de Alzira, both in Valencia province.
The defendant is believed to have scared parents into paying for the injections by telling them their children were at high risk of infection, and even told one parent that there was a child dying in the Intensive Care Unit because of a deadly outbreak.
She also charged a much higher price for the vaccines than the pharmacies, although the cost of the injections for children is normally covered by the Valencian authorities.
In total Bernarda, performed 66 fake vaccinations and pocketed €12,743 between 2007 and 2011.
Many of the victims said Bernarda had been their doctor for many years and had fully trusted her.
The doctor has also been suspended from practicing medicine for two years, and has been forced to pay a fine of €600.
Spanish media sources revealed that the punishment was more lenient because Bernarda had already paid most of the money back.
They also suggested that as she didn’t have a prior criminal record and the sentence does not exceed two years, she may be able to avoid going to prison altogether.