VIDEO: "Free Press" entered a wild practice for the treatment of infertility for an examination by an unlicensed doctor
In the unregistered office of the gynecologist D.R. who does not have an active license from the Medical Chamber, we arrived as "patients" seeking infertility treatment. We wanted to make sure firsthand if what our sources told us earlier was true - that Dr. DR. in the center of Skopje, in Kapistec, there is an unregistered practice and there he practices medicine focused on the treatment of sterility.
The sources, who were in that apartment before, also gave us his phone number. At the entrance from the facade of the red high-rise building, we were greeted by something that should have been a sign for the practice. In dark blue color on the cemented part of the canopy was written: "Sterile Center." We arrived in front of the apartment with two entrance doors. The bells were ripped from the wall and the holes were taped over. Apparently, either renovation activities are being prepared here or the bells have been removed on purpose. We knocked on the door. Someone's presence could be heard from inside. But no one opened. We started to leave and on the way out we rang the doctor's cell phone to ask him where his practice was moved. But we just addressed him with the words "Doctor R. there is a patient here, where is your office?", he told us:
– Come back, you were the ones who knocked on the door now, right?
We took ten steps and the door opened. And with it, the world view opened towards an unregistered practice. A man, a patient, was already lying on the bed, and it looked like a laser intervention was being performed on him. His leg was raised and bent on the doctor's bed on which a white sheet was written, the laser was turned on, and we, the "young married couple" were directed to the "waiting room" which was a two-seater in the hallway of the apartment.
- Sit down, let me finish with the patient, there is an appointment scheduled, Doctor D told us.
When he came back, he asked us what we were doing, who gave us his phone number and reassured us:
"Let me just tell you that the treatment here is free of charge. If there are children, it is paid, if there are none, it is not paid. God punished someone to not have children, so the doctor punished him to take money from him? It doesn't work like that. "Relieve yourself," the doctor told us and went to the room where his office is.
From time to time he would return to the "waiting room" and we would sit on the couch. In front of us was a window with fitted blinds, placed on the floor and leaning against the wall.
"Before you, I had masters, some renovations. Call another time, whatever time you want then you will be admitted. That way it will be better for you. "Just one more injection to give and I will receive you."
When the patient left, Dr. D. he invited us to his office. Boxing, old specialist referrals on the table, along with the medicine register, walls plastered with depictions of reproductive systems, a medical bed covered with a white sheet, a three-legged chair, a laser, a sink, photos on the walls of babies and a picture of Alexander the Great's phalanx. The first state scan showed just that.
We waited another five minutes and the doctor appeared in front of us in a white coat with a hole in one sleeve repaired with duct tape. And there were several white coats hanging on hangers at the door.
– Do you bring findings?
- Okay, we will investigate.
- Doctor, are you a gynecologist?
– Gynecologist, I mostly deal with sterility.
– What treatments will you give me?
- Echo, tests of hormones in the fertile days, if the follicles are small we will test hormones, estradiol and progesterone, if they are successful we will have to add hormones. You will do those tests in the laboratory. I don't have a large laboratory, I do spermograms, swabs, but it's an expensive method. So, you will do blood tests, you will bring those results to me, we will collect data on how long you are planning to have a child and we will come up with a result. I work with a laser. It is a light that will cause the ovaries to produce fertile follicles. In the meantime, we will do a spermogram, the doctor explained patiently.
His explanation was that there are multiple ways to work on fertility. First with diet, then with hormones with pills, laser. He repeated many times that he does not take money unless there is a successful pregnancy, and he criticized private hospitals that "did not tell the truth to patients, that they cannot become pregnant, only to waste their money on tests that last for years." .
– That's how it works. If there is a pregnancy, you should charge, if not, you should not charge anything. So let him see if he will examine her for a year, two or three, the doctor pointed out.
He also told us that he told the truth to a patient who came from Albania to Macedonia, that her ovaries and uterus were too small to conceive and then she divorced and returned to Albania.
- I say madam, I have to tell you the truth and she divorced and returned to Albania. Not all things end ideally. But I see you two, as far as I understand from the construction of the ladies and gentlemen, I think we will achieve success. In a hundred cases, there are two or three such cases. You are not in that group, the doctor expressed hope.
Then there were questions about how long "we've been married", if our brothers and sisters have children, when was the first day of menstruation to determine the fertile days on which the hormone tests would be done, so he would know how to start.
There was also a short lecture in which he explained to us that "with a lot of troops one reaches the goal" alluding to the spermatozoa and suggested that the "gentleman" do a spermogram, which we decided to postpone for the next examination that he scheduled for April 10th at 30 a.m. and XNUMX minutes. He said it was necessary to see if the endometrium needed help, which was achieved with laser stimulation.
– This is the laser. Red laser. Superficial. There are birthmarks in every man and every woman and this laser stimulates those centers. Then the impulses are transmitted to the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland gives the order for the ovaries to create follicles or the endometrium to grow. The laser solves all that. This is not like a "Tom and Jerry" laser, the one that cuts. This is a superficial laser, the doctor explained.
He boasted that he does not remember "having a child with anomalies born to him" because he "takes all the necessary precautions" before starting to work with patients.
He gave us a referral, from the old specialist referrals that are no longer in use, and put his stamp on it. Written in Latin it says: Dr. DR. spec. Obstetrician gynecologist.
With the referral, we went out the door of the apartment and started asking the institutions what they know about this man.
"Regarding the question you are asking, we inform you that the doctor is listed in the register maintained by the Medical Chamber, but does not have an active license to work," the Medical Chamber answered us.
Asked since when the license has been inactive, they told us that it has been so since March 15, 2018, which means that the doctor has not been allowed to practice for five years.
In the state health and sanitary inspectorate, they closed this "clinic" in 2015 and forgot about it. No one in charge cares whether the ban decisions in 2023 are respected.
"Extraordinary inspection supervision was carried out in the period before 2015, in connection with an action during which gynecology and obstetrics practices were controlled. At the same time, a decision was issued for a ban on carrying out activities, given that the person found D.R. he did not submit a decision for performing health activities issued by the Ministry of Health, the State Health and Sanitary Inspectorate told "Sloboden Pechat".
Considering that our questions related to the period longer than 10 years, the inspectors told us that they cannot provide accurate data for items longer than 10 years because those items have been archived and canceled according to the plan for archival operations and that DSZI does not have the items of lasting value.
- For the period from 2015 until today, we have not received a complaint nor have we carried out an inspection because the facility does not exist in the register of facilities that have a work permit," said the inspectorate.
The legal department of the Ministry of Health clarifies that registration means that a certain person is registered as the founder of an institution. That information is determined in the procedure for determining conditions for establishment of the establishment and in the procedure for a work permit.
"We have no data that a decision was issued for a person with those data to establish a medical practice as a type of private healthcare facility in which this person has the capacity of founder. At the indicated address, there is no registered decision issued for an institution that performs the activity of biomedically assisted fertilization, which, as an area, includes the treatment of sterility," said the Ministry of Health.
So in fact, in the center of Skopje, in an apartment on the ground floor, hidden by the "blessed ignorance" of the institutions, to this day, doctor D.R. continues to prescribe. His patients are recorded in a blue thick leather notebook, where he also recorded us.
"Sloboden Pechat", investigating the allegations it came to from sources known to the editors, wants to alert the competent institutions that there are wild practices that potentially endanger the health of citizens, who often do not know that these are unregistered practices where very sensitive patients are treated. a branch of medicine – sterility and the consequences can be both psychological and physical. Considering that the state has already legally regulated this sphere by registering and issuing work licenses, as well as controlling the conditions and incomes that are realized from the private health practice, the consequences are even greater.