Controversial neurosurgeon Charlie Teo has been performing thousands of dollars worth of surgery in Spain while under strict conditions on him operating in Australia.
One Australian family has paid $90,000 to fly their 20-year-old son to a Spanish hospital to have Dr Teo remove a tumor from his back.
Dr Teo was one of Australia’s most high-profile brain surgeons, and had been often referred to by patients as a “miracle worker” before he was placed under strict conditions by the NSW medical regulator last year because of concerns his practice was a risk to the public.
The conditions require Dr Teo to gain written approval from an approved neurosurgeon before he performs certain operations in Australia.
Those conditions do not extend beyond Australia, however, and it has emerged that Dr Teo has assisted in at least three surgeries in the last year in hospitals in Madrid and Alicante in Spain.
He has also been present at operations in South Africa.
Dr Teo, alongside other neurosurgeons operated on Billy Baldwin at the Hospital Universitario Fundacion Jimenez Diax in July this year, at the cost of $70,000.
Dr Teo had removed a brain tumor from Mr Baldwin when he was five-years-old.
His father Alasdair Baldwin said he had always had “complete faith” in Dr Teo.
“It’s just appalling that nowadays, in the so-called lucky country, you can’t choose your own surgeon because of a vendetta against him,” Mr Baldwin told Nine Radio last week.
“There’s a lot of other families in the same boat that aren’t as fortunate as us that can redraw money from their house.
Billy said: “There is not one human being I have more faith in than Dr Teo”.
“That’s our guy,” he said.
The Medical Council of NSW is understood to be considering contacting Spanish authorities to alert them to the restrictions on the surgeon’s registration.
In August last year, the regulator said Dr Teo would be required to show he had explained the risks associated with any procedure to the patient and obtained informed financial consent, after it emerged patients were crowdsourcing in excess of $120,000 for operations.
At the time, Dr Teo said he accepted the council’s rulings.
“I feel extremely privileged to have helped more than 11,000 patients both here and overseas over the last 35 years in their journeys with all types of brain tumors,” he said last year.