Charlie Teo has responded to an article published on The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age which accused him of professional misconduct and questioned his ethics and behaviour.
The article, published yesterday, questioned his “judgement” and “narcissistic behaviour” and his penchant for “charging financially-stressed people exorbitant fees” for surgeries that could have been performed for free in a public hospital.
It also detailed allegations of Teo “bad-mouthing his colleagues” and “inappropriate conduct” in the operating theatre.
The article in question was written by investigative reporter Kate McClymont and was based on interviews with a variety of nameless sources, including 14 neurosurgeons, former patients of Teo and other related specialists.
A prominent Australian brain surgeon, Teo has earned himself a reputation for taking on cases deemed risky by other surgeons.
Pinned to the top of his website, Teo responded to the article, expressing his “tremendous disappointment”.
He said the publisher reported a “staggering number of inaccuracies” and “ultimate failure to provide a fair and balanced story”.
Teo also said the publisher “deliberately misstated and misrepresented information in the public domain”.
While his response did not address any of the allegations directly, Teo said his lawyers would be reviewing the article.
In a statement, the SMH said: “Kate McClymont has spent many weeks researching this story: interviewing surgeons, other medical professionals, patients, their families and examining court files. Dr Teo has been repeatedly contacted with requests to discuss and respond to the allegations in recent weeks.
“The Herald stands by the story.”
This is not the first time Teo has come under public scrutiny.
In May this year, Teo was criticised by urological surgeon professor Henry Woo who took to twitter to condemn over 110 GoFundMe campaigns that had been created to cover the cost of Teo’s surgery, which has been scrutinized as exorbitant by related specialists and other surgeons.
In June, Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone told cancer patients who had been quoted prices by Teo to seek a second opinion as the surgeon faced further pressure from colleagues over his surgery fees.
You can read Teo’s response in full below.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
I am incredibly surprised and tremendously disappointed by the article published today in The Sydney Morning Herald. 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.
Prof Charlie Teo AM.