Three cardiologists, transplant surgeon allege they were fired after reporting patient safety issues

Three cardiac surgeons and a transplant specialist claim whistleblower lawsuits against the hospital that they were fired from New York City-based SUNY Downstate Medical Center after reporting concerns over patient safety in its transplant program, Bklyner reports.

The surgeons allege that the hospital had "significant shortfalls" that led to patient deaths. The two earliest lawsuits claimed the hospital had chronic staff shortages that led to the death of at least three inpatients in a one-year period.

Frederic Joyce, MD, claims he was fired by the hospital because he "was vocal and active … in identifying to senior administration various issues affecting patient health and safety in the cardiothoracic and transplant divisions."

A SUNY Downstate spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuits to Bklyner but said the hospital deactivated its heart and kidney transplant programs after consultants identified issues with the program's leadership.

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