I am writing to tell you of the scariest experience my family went through after a visit to a this dermatologist clinic in the Bahamas of Dr. Hepburn The Skin Center Nassau.
Earlier in the year, I came into the doctors office to have a rash on my daughters neck looked at as it was bothering her. Whilst in the office the doctors asked about a mole on her neck. She then proceeded to state that there was a specialist who could come in the following week and do a biopsy of the mole and schedule surgery to remove the mole and test the sample to see if it was cancerous.
I mentioned that we do not live here full time and that we are here for another week and would have our GP in Canada look at it and we would handle it at a later time. The doctor then turned and stated she believed it to be cancer and if we did not handle the matter on a urgent basis then my daughter would die.
This of course prompted my teenage daughter to burst into tears as telling a person they have cancer and will die is a very harsh topic to hear. I immediately called my husband to pick us up so we could discuss this as a family.
In the meantime, the doctor said that there was limited space available and that I would need to pay thousands of dollars now to secure a spot for my daughter to be seen. I asked the doctor if we could have a day to think about it and try organize the money as we do not have thousands just sitting unused.
On speaking with my husband he decided that the better option was for us to cut our vacation short and go back to Canada to see our GP. My husband was feeling uncomfortable about the pressure and the way the doctor was speaking he felt as if there was something very strange about the interaction.
Once we got back to Canada we went to our GP as well as a second specialist who both confirmed that there was nothing wrong with our daughter and the mole she had was different looking but was nothing to be concerned about. They mentioned if it made our daughter feel more comfortable they could remove it but it was in no way necessary.
I was so relieved when I found out it was a normal mole. The following days, I became upset and began searching online to find out if we were the only persons who were told life threatening information by Dr. Hepburn which turned out to be false.
I also spoke with our GP and the specialist again to ask them how it was possible that this Dr. Hepburn dermatologist could say it was cancer and scare us without it being true. This is when I found out that this wasn’t the first time they had heard about this and that it is a common trick played by small clinics to make money.
The situation as explained to me is that the clinic can only afford to have a specialist visit and do expensive treatments if they have a certain minimum number of clients who need the service. Therefore, the doctors in these small clinics prey on people they think they can scare into making the appointment to see the specialist. This is also why the doctor was asking me to make the payment for the service in advance.
After obtaining this information, my husband approached a law firm and asked for help. Unfortunately they said that because the clinic is in the Bahamas and that we were not deceived by the ploy that we did not have a case and could not do anything about it. I was unwilling to let this act happen to others without myself trying to make sure no one is ever tricked and scared to no end.
The time between leaving the office until the time we could fly home and see an honest doctor felt like a lifetime. The emotional feelings my family dealt with especially my daughter should not be acceptable.
I would not wish this feeling or situation on anyone as it will take a long time before my family and I feel the same again.
At this point, I have turn to the internet to find help and advise as someone must know what I can do to make sure this does not happen to anyone ever again.
I am also reaching out to find out if anyone else had this same experience as I am confident my family is not the only one who was provided wrong information and scared to death.
I am not interested in my financial loss my family incurred from this experience as no amount of money could change the time and misery we felt while trying to make sure our daughter would not die of cancer she never had. To date we are still trying to help her mentally and emotionally overcome the feelings and thoughts of her possibly dying from a diagnosis of cancer which never existed.
I plea with anyone who reads this to avoid the Dr. Hepburns clinic at all costs as well as be careful with any small clinic as there are some persons in the world who clearly are not working for the right reasons.
To think my family could have paid Dr. Hepburn thousands of dollars for the treatment and surgery that my daughter did not need. Not only would we have spent a large amount of money but my daughter would have a scar on her neck for the rest of her life which would be completely unnecessary.
To read other first hand accounts of malpractice at The Skin Centre Bahamas run by Dr. Juliette Hepburn, please visit this blog where they are being compiled.