I don’t know the full story on this one, but a small article in one of the Sunday newspapers was indicative of the types of pressure that doctors are under in Australia, to practice within a very strict set of rules.
The article was about Dr. Ian Raddatz, whom the Queensland Medical Board took to the Health Practitioners Tribunal, saying he had engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct by providing health services that were “excessive, unnecessary or not reasonably required for the person’s well being”.
That type of allegation is exactly what is wrong with orthodox medicine today. Most patients get less than five minutes with a doctor – barely time to be able to describe their symptoms – when they are rushed back out the door with a script in hand. Any doctor who takes consistently long appointments with their patients can be in a lot of trouble.
The other problem is the “unnecessary” health services and testing. I have found from my experience that quite often doctors don’t order enough tests or the right tests to show up what could be going wrong for a patient. I don’t know how many patients I’ve seen with very clear hypothyroid signs and symptoms, and the only tests ever been run is a TSH. No thyroid function tests, no thyroid antibody tests, no urinary iodine excretion, no reverse T3, no thyroid ultrasound etc.
So often when I do encourage further testing, we find a problem that then gives us a guideline as to where best to treat. Some of these patients have been having the same sets of tests year in, year out, showing no abnormalities, but further or different testing is not looked in to.
So when a doctor does order “excessive testing” he is under scrutiny as if it is a crime, rather than a doctor genuinely trying to discover what could be wrong with his patient. In this particular case it mentioned in the article that Dr. Raddatz had allegedly ordered unnecessary pathology tests for 14 of his patients. 14. Oh my goodness, then man is unstoppable. With the amount of patients that doctors often see in a week – 14 patients that have had excess testing is not really going to stand out as a significant number.
The article also mentioned the doctor promoted nutritional supplements by a multi-level marketing company called Mannatech and inappropriately injected patients with vitamin B12.
If this is the worst the doctor ever did, then the Queensland Medical Board has a lot to answer for. There could be a lot more to it of course – but on the surface this looks like a classic case of rapping a doctor over the knuckles who has an interest in alternative medicine.
Rather than go after doctors who harm thousands of patients every year with unnecessary prescription medicines, surgeries and dangerous treatments like chemotherapy – the medical board chooses to vilify doctors who are likely to be doing very little harm at all and may actually be helping people.
It’s a sad state of affairs for any doctor who tries to work outside the narrow-minded cage of orthodox medicine in this country.