Brain surgeon Charlie Teo has returned to doctors who criticized his expensive medical procedures and stated that he would perform free operations if they swallowed their pride.
The neurosurgeon based in Sydney defended his practices during a fiery exchange with today's host Georgie Gardner on Wednesday morning.
Gardner questioned Teo about the ethics behind patients who had to turn to crowdfunding to cover their medical bills after a 12-year-old girl was forced to raise $ 120,000 for brain surgery.
Dr. Teo shot back and said the real problem & # 39; ego & # 39; and & # 39; proud & # 39; is with doctors in the public health system who would refuse to support him to perform free procedures.
& # 39; It's a bit unfair. If I was a child with cancer and in a foreign state who wants the very best care, I think it should be possible to do it in the public system, "he said.
& # 39; But unfortunately, if it's done in the public system, you know that few people have swallowed their ego & # 39 ;.
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Sydney-based neurosurgeon Dr. Charlie Teo defended his practices during a fiery exchange with today's host Georgie Gardner on Wednesday morning
Dr. Teo shot back and said he did not believe there was anything wrong with raising money for procedures when patients went through the private health system
He said that doctors at facilities deemed to be a center of excellence can operate on the state system for free on interstate patients, but that they need the approval of other doctors.
& # 39; To be called a center of excellence, you need at least three or four neurosurgeons to say & # 39; that the doctor is doing something else for us & # 39 ;, and that is not going to happen & # 39 ;, he added.
When asked if he suggested that he was only willing to work in public hospitals if his expenses were covered, Teo shot back and said he would be happy to perform free procedures if doctors wanted him.
& # 39; If I have a poor child in an interstate patient for the past 20 years who does not have private health insurance, they have two options. They come to the private system in NSW and are done privately where they have to pay.
Or I say to them: "Listen, if you can get your neurosurgeon out of your state to invite me to your hospital, I will work in the public system for free, with benefits that will benefit not only you but hopefully the entire neurosurgical community. good ones. they can learn my techniques ".
& # 39; Have I ever accepted this offer? Never. & # 39;
Teo said it was only three weeks ago that a neurosurgeon at Westmead Children & Hospital approached him for help with a case he couldn't perform on a sick child.
& # 39; He swallows his pride. He takes me there. A small child who dies is operated on for free. The result is fantastic. He's home now, out of tumor.
& # 39; All they have to do is swallow their ego & # 39 ;.
Sydney-based physician Charlie Teo has come under fire because he has charged patients up to $ 120,000 for high-stakes operations. Professor Henry Woo (right, a urologist at the University of Sydney School of Medicine, counted no fewer than 113 GoFundMe campaigns launched by patients to finance operations
The family of Amelia & # 39; Millie & # 39; Lucas (left), from Perth, raised more than $ 150,000 online, so she got Dr.'s operation. Could pay Teo for a malignant brain tumor. Her sister Tess, 15, (right) also has the same brain tumor disorder but has since received the all-clear
Teo said the system could be improved if doctors are willing to recognize and applaud the capacities of their colleagues and encourage centers of excellence.
His comments come after Dr. Henry Woo, a professor at the University of Sydney School of Medicine, tweeted that there is something seriously wrong & # 39; with a system in which a terminally ill girl is forced to raise money for a potentially life-saving procedure.
Professor Woo referred to the Perth girl Amelia & # 39; Millie & # 39; Lucas, 12, who made headlines last week after Dr. Teo said he would perform an open brain operation for $ 60,000 – $ 80,000.
& # 39; If it was a valid operation, it could / should be performed in the public system under Medicare & # 39 ;, Woo added.
Dr. Teo said he doesn't believe there is anything wrong with raising money for procedures when patients go through the private health system.
& # 39; Some of the practices are unethical, but the real concept of raising money to try to pay a doctor who doesn't work in your system or doesn't work in your state, I don't think it's unethical , he said.
Teo went on with a lash to Woo, a urologist, who said he should go back to his lab & # 39; and had to try to find a cure for prostate cancer, instead of discrediting a colleague.
Woo hit public hospitals on Wednesday because they & # 39; were not willing to learn his technique & # 39 ;.
Over the past decade, the physician living in Sydney has taken what other doctors considered unusable and offered brain cancer patients a second chance at life.
He hit back and claimed that NSW Health had told him that it would have violated his budget if it would allow him to operate in the public system, The Australian reported.
Professor Woo criticized Dr. Teo after a 12-year-old terminally ill girl was forced to raise $ 100,000 for her own brain surgery
Despite receiving a series of treatments, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy, Millie & # 39; s brain tumor has doubled in size within four months
In a series of tweets, Dr. Woo the doctor for leaving patients & # 39; financially destitute & # 39;
He said the organization has refused to acknowledge that in some cases it has offered a different level of competence.
Dr. Teo, who claims to have performed 11,000 surgeries, said that neurosurgeons simply felt intimidated by him and then refused to support him.
& # 39; Am I as good as people say I am? & # 39; he asked.
& # 39; If you talk to a neurosurgeon in Australia, they will say it's all nonsense … so why am I being praised and seduced by the best hospitals abroad? & # 39;
He told Sky News that he had picked up work all over the world, although he had found a different attitude in Australia.
& # 39; I have similar agreements everywhere to & # 39; the world's most difficult tumors and yet no one in Australia is willing to invite me to their hospital to learn my technique. I mean, there's something going on there. & # 39;
Dr. Teo first came to the attention after a colleague mentioned the & # 39; disturbing & # 39; amount of online fundraisers that were run by patients who could not afford his expertise.
Professor Henry Woo, a urologist at the University of Sydney School of Medicine, had no fewer than 113 GoFundMe campaigns launched by patients to fund the operations.
Professor Woo said he found it difficult to change Dr. Mantra. To reconcile Teo with & # 39; patients as your own family, but leave them financially destitute & # 39 ;.
Dr. Teo hit back Tuesday and acknowledged that Professor Woo had an & # 39; important issue & # 39; brought forward.
& # 39; The difference between public and private (and the) costs of medicines should be discussed & he said ABC.
& # 39; But what you have to remember is that of those $ 120,000 (charged for surgery), most people think it's all going to me, and that's not the case at all. & # 39;
He further explained that a large part of the operating allowance would go directly to the private hospital, while the rest would be divided among the various experts involved in the operation.
& # 39; For example, in the last $ 120,000 bill I received $ 8,000, & # 39; he explained. & # 39; It's not even a significant amount for me. & # 39;
Professor Woo's Tweets led to discussions about the ethics of charging patients about excessive health care reimbursements and the issue of public versus private institutions.
& # 39; The best surgeons exercise in the public sector where their decisions are peer-reviewed. It is always possible to operate 2 – the question becomes – is it safe and sensible. Our public sector pays a lot of care to a serious illness. No doctor's afternoon is worth $ 60,000 & # 39 ;, tweeted one person.
Professor Woo, however, replied that there is adequate medical care in both sectors, but patients need to be better informed about reimbursements.
RACS executive director of surgical affairs John Quinn took the idea that patients should raise funds for operations that were already available in the public system.
He called for guided financial decisions and reminded patients that it was misleading to believe that a higher fee was always accompanied by better service.
Government-funded cancer treatment was the subject of debate during the federal elections. Labor leader Bill Shorten promised to reduce the cancer costs that cancer patients owe.
WHO IS CHARLIE TEO?
Charlie Teo is a Sydney based neurosurgeon and director of the Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick.
The doctor has received international media attention due to his reputation for & # 39; non-operable & # 39; or risky cases.
Dr. Charlie Teo
Teo has been praised for his practices, but has also been the subject of criticism of his & # 39; controversial methods & # 39; and for offering false hope to patients.
Among his notable patients is Australian pianist Aaron McMillan, 30, who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in 2001.
Dr. Teo successfully removed the tumor, but unfortunately came back two years later and in 2007 led to the death of McMillan.
Teo also dealt with 2UE radio station Stan Zemanek during his fight with glioblastoma in 2006.
Teo worked in the US for ten years after claiming he could not secure his work due to his & # 39; bad name in Australia & # 39 ;.
The surgeon has defended his methods by saying that he is willing to extend the lives of patients if they are not ready to give in to their illness.
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