Chua Jui Meng should tender a full apology for misleading  Parliament and the nation on  Anwar’s health and German specialist Dr. Thomas Hoogland

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Health Minister, Datuk Chua Jui Meng should tender a full apology for giving an untrue answer in Parliament yesterday about the health of former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and German specialist Dr. Thomas Hoogland.

Chua told Parliament that he had surfed the Internet and said: “Although Dr. Hoogland claims to be an expert in endoscopic surgery, we cannot find any literature written by him on the Internet  nor any of his publications on international medical journals.”  (The Star)

Chua even said that Hoogland may not be a spine specialist claiming that  extensive searches on the Internet and medical journals dating back five years showed no evidence of Hoogland’s expertise. (The Sun).

I am shocked by such irresponsible statement by Chua, as during the controversy over Anwar’s health condition, I had last month visited the website of the Alpha Klinik in Munich, Germany, which “specialises in minimal invasive knee and spine surgery” where Hoogland is the Director of the Back Unit -

I distinctly remembered reading materials about Hoogland’s expertise as a specialist, and this has again been confirmed when I visited the website again.

Before helping to found the Alpha Klinik in 1989, Hoogland was  Staff Orthopaedic Surgeon and Chief of the Residency Program in Ignatious Hospital in Breda, the Netherlands for a number of years. He  graduated as a doctor from the University of  Groningen in the Netherlands in 1972. From 1973 to 1978 he trained as an orthopaedic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic in the U.S. and received his  American Orthopaedic Board Certification. From 1978 to 1980 he  was Staff Surgeon at the University Hospital of Groningen.

Hoogland had  performed over 8000 - including over 6000 minimal invasive spine operations - during his career as a surgeon. In addition, he had  published 22 scientific papers, contributed to four books and spoken at over a hundred congresses (including organising a number of them).

In addition, he was  a member of The German Society for Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, The North American Spine Society, The Scientific Society for Spinal Microsurgery (of which I am President), The International Society for Minimal Intervention Spine Surgery and The Society for Spine Surgery Research.

I have not done any extensive search on the Internet, but a quick search turned up a reference to an article by   Hoogland in  the April 1999 issue of SPINE (Volume: 24, Number 8):

“Wilke, H.J., Neef, P., Caimi, M., Hoogland, T., and Claes. L.E. (1999) New In Vivo Measurements of Pressures in the Intervertebral Disc in Daily Life, Spine, 24 (8), 755-762”.

How then can Chua claim that “extensive searches on the Internet and medical journals dating back five years showed no evidence of Hoogland’s expertise”.

Chua should apologise publicly for misleading Parliament and the nation on Anwar’s health and Hoogland.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman