I am a general surgeon in private practice in Kuala Lumpur. I would like to bring to the attention of the public the unethical practices of some doctors in private practice.
An 8-year-old boy was brought to see me by his father after suffering from fever, cough and vomiting for 1 day. He DID NOT HAVE ANY ABDOMINAL PAIN. He was initially seen by a general practitioner who insisted that the father bring him to see ‘Surgeon G’ at a specific private medical centre in Kuala Lumpur. The father at first refused and had wanted to bring his son to the medical centre where he was born but relented when the medical practitioner said that ‘Surgeon G’ will order some blood tests and will send his son home with some medications.
However, when he brought his son to see ‘Surgeon G’, the surgeon examined his son’s abdomen and pressed so hard that he elicited pain. Then the surgeon told the father that the son had a perforated ! appendix and insisted that he be operated the same night. The father was baffled because his son did not have any abdominal pain prior to that excrutiating examination but he reluctantly agreed upon insistence by the surgeon. About 1 hour prior to the surgery, the father suspected that something was not right and he asked for his son to be discharged. He then brought his son to see me.
The first thing I noticed was that the boy had a slight cough but he was very active. His father told him to jump to prove that he did not have any abdominal pain, which he did with great enthusiasm. After a thorough examination, I was convinced that the boy did not have appendicitis and definitely not a perforated one. I treated him symptomatically for upper respiratory tract infection and sent him home with some medications. The father was outraged with what happened to his son earlier but he was relieved that his son was saved from an unnecessary surgery. Professionally, I could not! tell him that ‘Surgeon G’ may have tried to cheat him but, in my heart, I knew that was the case because I knew ‘Surgeon G’ very well and had inherited a few of his patients whom he operated upon and had botched the surgeries.
The next day, ‘Surgeon G’ called me and asked what happened to the patient. I told him I was certain that the boy did not have a perforated appendix but he insisted that the boy was very sick and had rigors (severe shivering) when he first saw him. Surgeon G said the boy improved tremendously after one dose of antibiotics. In my years of practice, I have not come across one case where one dose of antibiotics can cure a case of perforated appendicitis. IT IS JUST NOT POSSIBLE! He also said that the boy’s father was a liar and had lied about his son not having any abdominal pain. Well, dear readers, I am a parent too. No father will lie about his son’s health because he would have wanted the best treatment for his son.
I suspect ‘Surgeon G’ is giving kickbacks to many general practitioners to send patients to him to operate. In return, he would pay these general practitioners for each patient referred to him. He would cooperate with the general practitioners to convince the patients that they need urgent surgery. I have personally worked with ‘Surgeon G’ and I know that his skills are questionable. He told me once that it is alright for a patient to have a recurrent disease as a result of his incomplete surgery because he would then refer the patient to another surgeon to tackle the problem. He had caused one death from a thyroid operation and at least 2 cases of complications after galbladder surgeries which he refused to admit fault. In his clinic he has medical books with pictures of dangerous diseases which he uses to scare his patients into accepting surgery.
I am writing this to alert the public that there are doctors who are out for money onlyand are unethical in their practices. It breaks my heart that there are such individuals practising freely and fleecing off ! unsuspecting and vulnerable patients and giving this noble profession a bad name. The only defence patients have is to be knowledgeable about their own illnesses and not be afraid to ask questions. All patients have to right to a second opinion and no doctors should coerce their patients to accept treatment against their will. The only consolation I have is that most doctors, both in public and private practice, are still ethical and are sincere in helping their patients.
Please circulate this article to your friends and loved ones and lets hope no one will suffer in the hands of surgeons like ‘Surgeon G’. Also, beware of the general practitoner who insists that you see a particular specialist in a particular hospital because he could be working hand-in-hand with that doctor.