Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Update on complaint against NZ ETS surgeon Murray MacCormick

The following was written by the ETS patient who is making the complaint. They have given their permission for this to be circulated.


"Still no reply to my letter dated 2 April, 2010, to Murray MacCormick.

"My advocate from the Health and Disability Commissioner came over this morning and we talked. She had a copy of the Kiwi ETS Group's support letter to the Commissioner and was very impressed with it. She had also read the web pages I had given her and was quite surprised that the surgeon continues to perform ETS and said this is a very valid complaint.

"However, an advocate goes into the meeting and says nothing. They are there only to call a meeting off should it "get ugly". Without her being able to help or say anything it seems pointless. I would probably be so upset and make a complete fool of myself and my surgeon would probably suggest a shrink.

"All MacCormick is required to say is sorry. Not good enough.

"When you go to these meetings you are only allowed to talk about yourself, others are not to be mentioned.

"When or if MacCormick's response letter arrives, I will leave a message with his secretary saying that his reply took too long and my complaint has now gone to the Commissioner.

"I encourage others to do the same, whether our complaints go in together or separately."


The Kiwi ETS group is supporting this patient in complaining to the HDC, and we urge any unsatisfied ETS patients of Murray MacCormick to make a complaint.

One complaint about one surgeon is nothing out of the ordinary to the Health and Disability Commissioner. However, several complaints about one surgeon from patients who all had the same surgery should hopefully be cause for alarm and warrant a thorough investigation.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NZ ETS patient makes official complaint about their surgeon

A New Zealand ETS patient has just begun the process of making a complaint about their ETS surgeon, Dr Murray MacCormick, to the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC).

Updates on how the complaint progresses will be posted here. The Kiwi ETS Group has written a letter in support of this ETS patient to the HDC, highlighting the fact that several New Zealand ETS patients we have had contact with are dissatisified patients of Dr MacCormick because of the disabling and devastating side effects their ETS surgeries have left them with - side effects Dr MacCormick never warned them about or downplayed the likelihood/severity of.

In addition, the letter highlights the following issues with Dr MacCormick's decision to offer ETS to this patient.

1.) The patient was suffering from excessive facial sweating as a side effect of medication they were taking. However, at that time, the patient was not aware what was causing the excessive facial sweating - after all, they are not a medical professional.

You would think that in such a case, an experienced doctor, which Dr MacCormick indeed is, would extensively question the patient about their medical history, any medication they were taking, and how long the sweating had been a problem for, and use their medical knowledge to determine that the sweating was not actually hyperhidrosis but a far simpler problem that could easily be alleviated by adjusting or changing the patient's medication.

Instead, within the space of a 15-minute consultation - the first ever consultation between Dr MacCormick and this patient - the doctor recommended ETS to treat the excessive facial sweating and scheduled the surgery to take place within the week.

2.) Even IF the patient had indeed had facial hyperhidrosis, ETS surgery is suppposed to be a last resort treatment for hyperhidrosis when all other non-surgical treatment options have been tried, and have failed. However, as the patient did not even have hyperhidrosis, they should never have been considered a candidate for ETS.

The letter also points out that Dr MacCormick, as a private practitioner, made a sizable sum of money from performing the ETS surgery on this patient.

The patient now lives with disabling severe CS and other side effects commonly reported by ETS patients - ongoing fatigue, painfully dry skin on the arms and mysterious pains in the limbs and extremities.

This patient's story is one of the most shocking we have heard to date about ETS in New Zealand.

If you are a dissatisfied past patient of Dr Murray MacCormick, now would be a good time to make your dissatisfaction known to the Health and Disability Commissioner. The higher the number of distressed patients, the harder it will be for the HDC to take the issue lightly.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ETS surgeons in NZ and abroad

To help other ETS patients find this blog - whether they be potential ETS patients or patients who regret having had ETS - I will list the names of all the ETS surgeons I am aware of.

ETS surgeons in New Zealand:
Murray MacCormick (Auckland)
David Ferrar (Hamilton)
Thodur Vasudevan (Hamilton)
Ross Blair (Tauranga)
John Mercer (Christchurch)
David Lewis (Christchurch)
Malcolm Gordon (Christchurch)

ETS surgeons in Australia:
Peter Y Milne
Barry Beiles
Roger Bell
Hamilton White
Raffi Qasabian
John Preston Harris
Sanjay Sharma
Marek Garbowski
Philip Middleton
David Marshman
Spero Raptis
Ben Anderson
Chris Hensman
Richard Gilhome
Ray McHenry

ETS surgeons in the UK:
Christer Drott
-Drott used to practise in Sweden and performed ETS on thousands of patients throughout the '90s. Drott stopped practising in Sweden when a Swedish support group for those living with disabling side effects from ETS gained widespread media attention and ETS was temporarily banned in that country.

Goran Claes
-As above...Drott and Claes now practise on Harley Street in London.

There are likely many more ETS surgeons that I am not yet aware of. I will add more surgeons' names with time.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Want to make yourself heard, officially?

I thought it was time to start putting some information on here about the legal options for people who have had bad outcomes from ETS surgery.

In brief, your options are:

-Make a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner

-Make a 'Treatment Injury' claim to ACC

-Take your surgeon to court

Click here for links to information on 'How to Complain About a Doctor' and 'How to be Aware of and Enforce Your Rights as a Patient'.

I will add more on this topic later.

For now, know that there are options available to you, and as ACC recently informed me, at least seven people right here in New Zealand have already made treatment injury claims in relation to their sympathectomy surgeries. Six of these seven claims were accepted.