Dr Teo may face disciplinary action

High-profile neurosurgeon Charlie Teo is facing possible disciplinary action after multiple complaints were submitted to a government health body in NSW.

This information came as Dr Teo claimed he may be forced out of the medical field as he continues to receive backlash over the high costs of his operations.

Last weekend, he revealed he had received a letter from the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) threatening possible disciplinary action.

Dr Teo revealed this information to the Health Professionals Australia Reform Association, an organisation that aims to reform excessive health care regulation, at a conference in Canberra on Saturday.

During the conference Dr Teo read from a letter he received from the HCCC, which warned him against making "comments which may undermine confidence in colleagues directive decisions relating to patients".

Charlie Teo revealed he may be facing disciplinary action over a series of complaints.
Charlie Teo revealed he may be facing disciplinary action over a series of complaints.

He also brought up previous instances where he was pressured to give second opinions to patients that agreed with the first option they were given, so as not to upset the surgeon who gave the initial opinion.

In some cases, he revealed the complaints being directed at him actually related to the system providing inadequate follow-up care after the surgery, not the actual procedure itself.

Dr Teo also lashed out at Henry Woo, a professor of surgery at the University of Sydney, who publicly called out the neurosurgeon on Twitter for the high costs of his surgeries.

He refuted claims Professor Woo made that there were 113 crowd-funding campaigns from patients trying to raise enough money to afford his surgery costs.

Dr Teo said his team could only find 107 campaigns mentioning his name and of that number only two were from patients who were looking to fund upcoming surgery.

Professor Henry Woo tweeted up a storm calling out the practice of surgeons like Dr Teo. Picture: Henry Woo/Twitter
Professor Henry Woo tweeted up a storm calling out the practice of surgeons like Dr Teo. Picture: Henry Woo/Twitter

As the debate over how much patients should have to be forking out for these types of surgeries continues to rage, the government has announced it would be making more information available to patients,The Australian reported.

The federal government plans to run an education campaign to tell Australians there is no link between high fees and high quality care, along with making data on likely costs more available.

Towards the end of his presentation, the celebrity neurosurgeon predicted he would eventually be forced out of medicine.

"They will eventually get me. A lot of good people have gone down to the system," Dr Teo said.

"I used to say just take the high road and the high road will always keep you protected but I really don't think that is true."

 

Dr Teo said he would likely be forced out of the medical field at some point. Picture: Paul Miller/AAP
Dr Teo said he would likely be forced out of the medical field at some point. Picture: Paul Miller/AAP

The HCCC confirmed to news.com.au there were multiple complaints against Dr Teo.

"The commission has a number of current complaints relating to Dr Teo. As these are in the process of determining appropriate action, we are unable to provide further comment at this time," a spokesperson for the organisation said in a statement.

This comes as Dr Teo threatened to quit medicine over the ongoing scrutiny he receives and spats with senior surgical figures.

Speaking to The Sunday Age, Dr Teo said if the "distractions become too great", affecting his ability to give his patients what they deserve, he "will call it quits".

"Once they see blood they go for it," he said.

"There are times when you just have to bend over and take it up the arse," claiming the past week had been the most "relentless and vicious" he had ever experienced.

In the interview, Dr Teo said certain hospitals purposefully drove up the costs for his patients, claiming the governing bodies were carrying out "a purge" against independent physicians.


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