PETALING JAYA: Malaysian-born neurosurgeon, Dr Suresh Nair, who binged on cocaine and was linked to the death of two prostitutes in Australia, was allowed to continue operating on patients despite his condition.
The NSW Medical Board had allegedly allowed Dr Nair to continue working at the Nepean Private Hospital in Sydney although he was already banned from the Nepean Public Hospital next door, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The shocking details of the man arrested in 2010 for manslaughter and supplying drugs were originally revealed on ABC’s Four Corners programme on Monday night, which portrayed interviews with Dr Nair’s former patients whose lives had been destroyed by surgeries he had botched.
“His behaviour seeped into his work with disastrous effects including one patient, Carla Downes, who had her wrong vertebrae operated on leaving her with a crippling back problem,” the Daily Telegraph article said.
Downes told Four Corners that the surgery performed on her by Dr Nair had left her a 100 times worse than when she went in.
“I would ask why, why did he do it? He had a duty of care to his patients. I wasn‘t just a piece of meat, you know I was a mum, 56 years old, and I don’t have much of a life.
“I’m worse, much worse. My whole life has changed. I crawl up the stairs because I can’t climb up them one at a time,” Downes was quoted as saying.
Dr Nair also botched a spinal operation on another patient, Rhonda Taylor.
“For six years I’ve had no life, I exist from day to day,” Taylor said on the television programme.
In 2008, the NSW Medical Board had apparently stopped drug tests on the problematic doctor, having known about his drug addiction since 2004.
Afterward, the Nepean Public Hospital upheld the ban formerly imposed on Dr Nair as his colleagues began to question his fitness to practice.
However, the hospital’s private counterpart allowed him back into the operating theatre, resulting in the botched surgeries on several patients.
Dr Nair allegedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes and drug parties at his apartment during that period.
In 2009, 23-year-old prostitute Victoria McIntyre died from cocaine overdose after spending the night at Dr Nair’s apartment.
The police subsequently informed the Nepean Public Hospital about the incident but the medical board, which was managing his impairment programme at the time, was not made aware, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Dr Nair was deemed fully fit to practice as a psychiatrist’s report to the Health Care Complaints Commission in May 2009 said that he was in remission from alcohol and cocaine abuse.
But in November, after several months of being re-attached to the Nepean Public Hospital, Brazilian escort Suellen Domingues-Zaupa was left to die in his apartment after having suffered a heart attack and cocaine overdose.
Dr Nair’s medical licence was revoked and he was sentenced to prison for four years after pleading guilty to manslaughter and supplying prohibited drugs.
He is expected to be deported to Malaysia after his permanent residency was cancelled by the Australia’s Immigration Ministry on the eve of his parole.