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.

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