Charlie Teo, neurosurgeon and one of the hosts of SBS show Medicine or Myth.
Charlie Teo, neurosurgeon and one of the hosts of SBS show Medicine or Myth.

Teo rejects ‘inappropriate conduct’ claims

RENOWNED and controversial neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo has hit back at a news article accusing him of inappropriate conversations about sex.

The article published in The Sydney Morning Herald today contained quotes from anonymous colleagues who described a number of inappropriate actions and gestures by Dr Teo while in surgery and at his home.

It also quoted unnamed neurosurgeons who accused Dr Teo of overcharging patients, reiterating a number of criticisms levelled earlier this year.

"I am incredibly surprised and tremendously disappointed by the article published today in The Sydney Morning Herald," he said in a statement on his personal website.

Dr Teo has rubbished the report. Picture: Paul Miller/AAP
Dr Teo has rubbished the report. Picture: Paul Miller/AAP

"Particularly disturbing was the evident lack of legitimate research, the use of nameless sources, the staggering number of inaccuracies and ultimate failure to provide a fair and balanced story.

"The publisher has deliberately misstated and misrepresented information in the public domain and has failed to fairly report information that has been conveyed to them over the last several days.

"It's disappointing that the publisher has chosen to report inaccurately and in such a sensational and biased manner. I have asked my legal team to review the article.

"I am not the first person to be subjected to this type of reporting and I will not be the last. I am immensely proud of everything that I have achieved professionally as a surgeon in Australia and internationally, and of the work of the Charlie Teo Foundation.

"I recognise that none of this would have been possible without the support of my amazing team, many of whom who have been with me for many years.

"I would like to thank you all for your ongoing support. I have been inundated with messages of reassurance and for this I am grateful. Rest assured, I will continue the fight against brain cancer, a fight I have dedicated my life to."

In June, the 61-year-old came under fire from fellow neurosurgeons for the high cost of his operations, some of which run into the six figures and have prompted patients to launch GoFundMe campaigns.

University of Sydney professor of surgery Henry Woo wrote on Twitter that "something is seriously wrong if a terminally ill girl with a brain tumour has to raise $130,000 to have surgery Dr Charlie Teo has offered to do for $60-80,000".

Dr Woo argued that "if it was valid surgery, it could/should be performed in the public system under Medicare". Dr Teo hit back at the criticisms, saying he wasn't allowed to operate in public hospitals and accusing the medical establishment of "gunning" for him.

Not long after, he revealed he was facing possible disciplinary action after multiple complaints were submitted to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, which sent him a letter warning him against making "comments which may undermine confidence in colleagues directive decisions relating to patients".

"They will eventually get me," Dr Teo told a medical conference in Canberra where he read out the letter. "A lot of good people have gone down to the system. 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."

Last week, 12-year-old Perth girl Amelia "Milli" Lucas returned to school after Dr Teo removed an aggressive brain tumour. Miss Lucas, the patient referred to in Dr Woo's tweet, had the surgery after a fundraising campaign topped $160,000.

 

frank.chung@news.com.au



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