Doctors to rule on Whitby MD’s competence

He also faces a $25-million class-action lawsuit brought by former patients in June, 2001. They allege that Dr. Wai-Ping performed unnecessary hysterectomies, failed to remove surgical instruments from inside patients, failed to fully deliver a placenta, and failed to diagnose cancer in a woman who later died.

The Globe and Mail
November 17, 2003

Doctors to rule on Whitby MD’s competence
Former patients allege gynaecologist botched operations, deliveries and more
Guy Abbate

The allegations are numerous: botched hysterectomies, deliveries and gynecological procedures; life-threatening infections after surgery; unnecessary hysterectomies and failure to diagnose cancer.

If the charges against him are proved, Errol Wai-Ping could lose his licence to practise medicine in Ontario.

Today, the Whitby obstetrician-gynecologist will appear before the disciplinary committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to defend himself against the charges, which involve dozens of former patients who allege they were victims of malpractice.

The committee will have to decide whether his peers would reasonably consider the conduct of the 50-year-old physician in his practice of medicine as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

Also before the committee is the much more serious allegation that Dr. Wai-Ping is incompetent and unfit to practise, in that he "has displayed in his professional care of the patients a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment or disregard for the welfare of the patients, of a nature or to an extent that demonstrates that he is unfit to continue in practice or that his practice should be restricted."

These allegations are based on the findings of three physicians enlisted by the college to assess Dr. Wai-Ping's medical expertise. They presented their report in September, 2002.

Today's hearing contains a lengthy list of charges against Dr. Wai-Ping. They include:

  • performing unnecessary hysterectomies and other surgical procedures without first trying medical therapies;
  • failing to investigate abnormal bleeding according to guidelines, which led to complications;
  • misrepresenting ultrasound findings in such a way that led to patients undergoing unnecessary surgery;
  • failing to respond appropriately to postoperative complications in four cases, in one placing the patient's life in danger.

Dr. Wai-Ping received his medical degree from the University of the West Indies in 1982. In 1990, the college certified him as a specialist in gynecology.

He currently has no hospital privileges, which means he cannot work in a hospital or refer patients.

On Nov. 15, 2001, the college's executive committee imposed two conditions on Dr. Wai-Ping shortly after complaints against him were referred to the disciplinary committee for a full hearing. Using its power under the Health Professions Procedural Code, the committee restricted Dr. Wai-Ping's practice to non-surgical office assessments of patients. But he could do so only if he permitted the college to monitor his billings to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

Dr. Wai-Ping is listed on the college's Web site as not currently accepting new patients.

He took a voluntary leave of absence in June, 2001, after the hospital where he had worked since 1992, the Ajax-Pickering site of the Rouge Valley Health System, began to investigate his practice. At the same time, the college began its probe.

If found guilty, Dr. Wai-Ping could lose his licence to practise, receive a suspension or a fine, or have restrictions and conditions imposed on his practice. He is expected to plead not guilty to the charges against him.

He also faces a $25-million class-action lawsuit brought by former patients in June, 2001. They allege that Dr. Wai-Ping performed unnecessary hysterectomies, failed to remove surgical instruments from inside patients, failed to fully deliver a placenta, and failed to diagnose cancer in a woman who later died.


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