Unterägeri, 21.05.2024

Dr. Murat Yilmaz's practice in Unterägeri is bankrupt

Hundreds of patients have been literally left out on the street. At the end of April, their family doctor Murat Yilmaz placed a note on the door of the practice stating that it was now closed.

This despite a full appointment calendar. But there is also an explosive recent revelation: in March, the canton of Zurich revoked the doctor's license to practice.

She was delighted and also a little surprised that a doctor as apparently highly trained as Professor Doctor Murat Yilmaz had taken over the GP practice of Dr. Jacques Stäger at Seestrasse 9 in Unterägeri, says a former patient of the two doctors. "I was all the more surprised when the doctor was suddenly no longer available."

But Dr. Murat Yilmaz only made a brief ‘guest appearance’ in Unterägeri. After taking over the practice in January 2024, a notice was posted on the door of the practice at the end of April: the practice was bankrupt and would remain closed.

Where are the patient files?
"I was supposed to discuss the results of an examination with him, but I couldn't reach him. There wasn't even an answering machine." So the patient went to the practice and saw the notice on the door there. Like many others, she was doubly affected: firstly because she no longer had a GP, and, secondly, she couldn't access her patient records.

"I called the Zug Medical Association (Ärztegesellschaft), the Office of Public Health, the Ombudsman's Office of the Canton of Zug, the Central Switzerland Patient Office, and even the umbrella organisation of the Swiss Patient Office (Dachverband der Schweizerischen Patientenstelle) and the Swiss Medical Association FMH. Nobody could help me," she says demoralised. She did receive an e-mail address, which was the same as on the letter on the practice door.

"When I wrote to them, I received an A4-sized list with incomplete key words from my medical history, randomly thrown together and in no chronological order. That was all. No reports, no detailed notes or pictures."

Finally, the patient did some research on her own, found out that Murat Yilmaz ran another practice in Wallisellen and called there. "A former employee, who said Murat Yilmaz owed her wages, told me that this practice was also insolvent." Via further detours, she finally got the doctor's personal mobile phone number and called him.

"He was initially irritated that, as a patient, I knew his private number. Then he acted annoyed, disinterested and dismissive – and not aware of any guilt or responsibility," she reports.

Several signs at the former practice address, Seestrasse 9 in Unterägeri, still advertise for new patients        
Murat Yilmaz's GP practice was located in this building on the Seestrasse in Unterägeri.        Photos: Jan Pegoraro

Doctors themselves have a duty in the handling of patient records
On enquiry, both the Zug Health Directorate (Gesundheitsdirektion) and the Medical Association confirmed that they were aware of the bankruptcy of the practice in Unterägeri, but had not been informed by the doctor himself. "He was still on the emergency care rota when we found out about his bankruptcy," explains Urs Hasse, President of the Medical Association of the Canton of Zug. "Dr. Yilmaz applied to become a member, but I never met him in person. He met the criteria for admission, appeared to be quite normal and otherwise fulfilled his official duties." The medical association has no control function over medical practices in the canton. "The Health Directorate is responsible for this."

The Health Directorate states: "The correct handling of patient records is the responsibility of Dr. Yilmaz. According to the Health Act (Gesundheitsgesetz), he is obliged to ensure accessibility, even in the event of a practice closure."

And if the doctor does not fulfil his duty? "We are in the process of finding a solution," concludes cantonal doctor Rudolf Hauri. "But it's not easy, as legal means are open to all parties involved in this case."

Suddenly taken ill
When asked by the Zuger Zeitung  newspaper, Dr. Murat Yilmaz confirmed the bankruptcy. “I fell ill and could no longer work,”’ he says. As a result, he received no income and had to file for bankruptcy. His practice in Wallisellen was also affected. The illness made it impossible for him to leave an answering machine message, to cancel appointments with patients that had already been booked and to inform the Medical Association and the Health Department about his bankruptcy.

Only a small part of the medical records of the patients of his predecessor Dr. Jacques Stäger had been transferred to him, claims Murat Yilmaz. “When a practice is handed over, the existing patient base is not automatically transferred to the successor. Of the 5,000 to 6,000 patients of my predecessor, 391 contacted me. I then requested their patient files with their consent.” A former employee will now gradually return these to the owners on a voluntary basis. He never received the other patient files.

Dr. Jacques Stäger did not wish to comment when asked. However, the Zug cantonal doctor Rudolf Hauri confirms that the handover between Dr. Stäger and Dr. Yilmaz in January 2024 was completely normal and correct. “This means that all patients were contacted and asked whether they would like to collect their file or have them handed over to the practice's successor.” Murat Yilmaz thereby kept the patient files that were not collected, and Dr. Jacques Stäger is no longer in possession of them.

Licence revoked in the canton of Zurich
The fact that the canton of Zurich has revoked Murat Yilmaz's licence to practise the profession as of 18 March 2024, as can be seen from the publicly accessible ‘MedReg’ medical professional register of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), is an explosive additional revelation.

When the photographer from the Zuger Zeitung newspaper wanted to take a photo of the information letter on the practice door, it was no longer there. But there are still several signs on the letterbox and on the wall advertising for new clients: “Please come in. Appointments free, also for new patients. Practice of Prof. Dr. med. Yilmaz.”

His website at www.swissmedicalpractice.ch has since been closed, but another one - www.swissmedicalconsulting.ch - on which the doctor offers mediation services at home and abroad - is still in operation.

The patient forum, which has since been deleted, contained several allegations of fraud against the doctor, including one from 2023 by Chantal Waldispühl from Eich in Lucerne: “I received a fake invoice for a coronavirus test, which was billed directly via the health insurance company. Where he obtained all my private data from is questionable. This is a mess, and as he is denying everything, I'm going to contact a lawyer or the police!”

She ultimately decided not to report Murat Yilmaz, because she learned that he was already under investigation, as several similar cases had been reported. But she informed the Federal Office of Public Health (Bundesamt für Gesundheit BAG) and her insurance company, and told her story in a programme on Tele 1. ‘I found it particularly audacious that, only a week after me, one of my work colleagues also received the same false invoice from Murat Yilmaz,’ she concludes.

In the Tele 1 programme entitled ‘Victims of Covid test fraud’, Chantal Waldispühl describes her experiences with Murat Yilmaz.         Video (in German) on Tele 1:

Neither the public prosecutor's office of the canton of Zurich nor that of the canton of Zug will provide information as to whether criminal proceedings are currently underway against Murat Yilmaz. The doctor himself states that there are no proceedings against him.

Patients are queuing up
In the meantime, the ‘Gesundheitspunkt’ practice in Oberägeri is experiencing a rush of new patients unlike anything in their experience. “Within the limits of our resources and our mandate as a primary care provider, we are trying to help the affected patients, some of whom are now beating down our doors with highly complex medical conditions,” writes its manager Emil Schalch. This is anything but easy, as the health centre does not have enough doctors and medical practice assistants to deal with this sudden increase.

We are trying to look after our own 5,500 patients and the new, additional patients as well as possible with our 200% GP posts, one paediatrician and a rotating assistant, as well as an excellent consultation hours organisation, but we will clearly exceed our own limits if this becomes a permanent situation.”

More information and registration with ‘Gesundheitspunkt Oberaegeri’ can be found (in English) on https://gesundheitspunkt.ch/en/onedoc/
Or by phone on: 041-750 12 40.