NSW premier defends $25,000 Teo donation

Dominic Perrottet has confirmed the Liberal has disendorsed one of its NSW election candidates.

Dominic Perrottet has confirmed the Liberal has disendorsed one of its NSW election candidates. Photo: AAP

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has defended donating taxpayer money to the charity run by embattled neurosurgeon Charlie Teo, saying the arrangement has been “in existence for many years”.

The NSW government has given a total of $100,000 to the Charlie Teo Foundation from the Premier’s Discretionary Fund, in annual instalments of $25,000 since 2019, according to publicly available records.

In August 2021, the well-known neurosurgeon was restrained from operating without the approval of another doctor by the NSW Medical Council after an investigation by the Health Care Complaints Commission.

Mr Perrottet said on Friday he was satisfied the ongoing donations to Dr Teo’s charity were appropriate.

“The donation in relation to the [Charlie Teo] Foundation has been in existence for many years,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The Premier’s Discretionary Fund provides donations on an annual basis.

“There’s a range of charities, particularly focused on children, that the NSW government supports, and that’s one of them.”

Department of Premier and Cabinet annual reports show $25,000 was donated to the foundation in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 financial years.

A fourth donation was announced this week.

Dr Teo is well known for performing neurosurgery on cancer patients with tumours other doctors have deemed “inoperable”.

But currently he cannot operate unless a second doctor is satisfied his patients are aware of the risks and are financially informed about their decision.

News coverage since has revealed numerous further complaints about the surgeon, including claims he charged exorbitant fees.

Dr Teo has consistently denied wrongdoing.

When his operating wings were clipped in 2021, the veteran neurosurgeon said his patients were his “sole priority and accommodating these conditions will not affect the care that I have always taken in prolonging their lives”.


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