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Updated: 3:51 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 | Posted: 3:51 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

Doctor accused of operating on wrong part of patient's body, officials say

(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)


OCALA, Fla. —

The Florida Department of Health has filed an administrative complaint against an Ocala, Florida, doctor who is accused of performing the wrong surgery on a patient.

Dr. John Scales performed the surgery 11 months ago and still has a clear, active license.

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A 77-year-old man fractured a vertebra in his back and visited with Scales at Munroe Regional Medical Center, according to documents from the Florida Department of Health.

Scales is accused of operating on the wrong vertebra, and the patient had to spend two weeks in a rehabilitation center, the documents read.

The Department of Health said it began its investigation in December and Scales can contest the complaint.

When asked why it took so long for the investigation to be opened, a spokesperson said the case was placed on the “earliest agenda” for a panel to decide whether a complaint should be filed.

Officials will hold a hearing to decide whether to revoke his license, suspend it or fine him. That date has not been set.

"Dr. Scales is an independent member of the medical staff," a spokesperson for Munroe Regional Medical Center said in an email Wednesday. "It is our practice not to comment on matters under investigation."