“Doctor” Onelio Hipolit-Gonzalez has been charged with unlicensed practice of a health care profession and unlawful use of a two-way communication device according to an article published in the Spectrum News of Hernando County, Florida.
Although he had set up an office in Brooksville, Florida, it was later determined by an investigator from the Florida Department of Health that Gonzalez was never licensed in the state of Florida.
Upon his arrest, Gonzalez told authorities that he did not think he needed a license to practice medicine.
Gonzalez advertised online to the Hispanic community on a website called “El Classificado.”
He was found to have treated people with very serious diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
The investigation was conducted by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit. When it was determined that Gonzalez was diagnosing patients and charging them for treatment, an undercover law enforcement official, acting as a patient, made an appointment with Gonzalez.
Gonzalez told the agent/patient to meet him at his friend’s house in eastern Brooksville, explaining that the friend allows him to see his patients there.
When the agent arrived at the friend’s home he was given a clipboard, asked to complete the paperwork and also pay $160. He complied.
After checking pulse and blood pressure, Gonzalez placed a band around the agent’s head and asked him to hold a metal rod. Both the rod and the band were connected to a machine sitting on a nearby table. The agent commented that the machine made a terribly loud noise. Gonzalez said the machine was very accurate and that it would check his heart, brain, intestinal system, nerves, bones and “everything else.”
Upon completion of his exam, Gonzalez announced to the agent that he had high cholesterol and that his brain was not getting enough oxygen. He also told the agent that his liver contained fifty percent fat and that he had an unhealthy gallbladder.
In addition, he added diabetes to his “diagnosis” saying that he had cured the owner of the house who also had diabetes. He made a quick call to the owner of the house to confirm his testimony.
Gonzalez said that he could cure the agent’s diabetes with a few more visits and a payment of $2000. He said part of the treatment would include a re-injection of the patient’s own blood.
He later explained to investigators after he was arrested that by re=injecting the patient’s own blood it helped the patient’s immune system and “combats” the blood cells.
After hearing this, the agents moved in on Gonzalez and he was placed into custody. He was transported to the Hernando County jail and his bail was set at $10,000. One of the arresting officers said, “It’s outrageous, you don’t play with [somebody’s] life like that.”
The arresting officers asked Gonzalez if he had any medical training. He responded that he was a lab technician in Cuba and received a certificate for Iridology, herbology, and nutrition after he moved to Florida.
He was also asked about the machine. He explained that he purchased it online and there was no schooling required to operate it. He further explained that women should hold the rod in their right hand while men need to hold the rod in their left hand. Gonzalez said he believes the machine is accurate and that it will detect everything.
The press release asks anyone who has been treated by Onelio Hipolit-Gonzalez to please contact the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit at 352-754-6830.
How to Avoid Fake Doctors
Recently, we found an article by By Jamie Wells, M.D. in The American Council on Science and Health offering excellent advice on how to spot a fake doctor.
Imposters such as Onelio Hipolit-Gonzalez know just enough information to cause problems not only to the medical profession but mostly to unsuspecting people who are suffering and desperate for a cure.
Gonzalez claimed to have certificates in Iridology, where practitioners say a disease can be diagnosed by looking at the iris and Herbology, the study of botany for medical treatment. He also had a certificate in nutrition.
The slippery slope in cases such as this begins from a truthful place. As an example, the eye is actually a component part in diagnosing a disease. However, it must be examined using special equipment by a trained physician in order to have a meaningful outcome.
How to Separate Fact From Fiction
Home care services are increasing so it is not unusual for legitimate, licensed medical professionals to visit patients at home. However, visiting nurse services typically visit the patient’s home and not “a friend’s house.”
These services can be verified by the patient’s insurance provider or hospital. Also, see The Word ‘Doctor’ May Not Mean What You Think It Means.
It is a patient’s right to know who is treating them and the level of their education and qualifications. Additional verification to check the credentials of a physician can be obtained by:
- Asking to see identification (By law these documents should be displayed in a doctor’s office)
- Badges should be easily viewed by patients
- Visit your state’s website to find the medical professional’s listing
- Call the medical licensing board directly, or
- Your area’s department of health, or
- Your area’s specialty board