All patients of a suspected illegal cosmetic surgery clinic in Delta are being urged to get tested for HIV and hepatitis by the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Zhuo Li is under investigation for performing cosmetic surgery and injection procedures without a licence to practise medicine or medical training, says the college.
“Based on the findings, the College believes it is highly probable that Ms. Li was performing cosmetic surgery such as facial injections, eyelid lifts and facial implants, which are restricted activities that only
qualified medical professionals are authorized to perform,” said Dr. Heidi Oetter, registrar and CEO.
Li, who also goes by the first name Subrina, is the sole director of a company registered at the home, called Sabrina Permanent Make-up Studio Inc.
Her home was raided on Dec 20, after a B.C. Supreme Court judge authorized the search of the home she shares with her husband and children in a quiet residential neighbourhood in North Delta.
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The judge issued a search and seizure order under Section 29 of the Health Profession Act, after the college alleged Li was performing cosmetic surgery in a “makeshift operating room” in her basement, said Susan Prins, the college’s director of communications and public affairs.
Concerns over sterilization
Items found in the raid included:
- Injectable medication including Bocouture (botulinum toxin type A).
- Idocaine hydrochloride (local anesthetic).
- Prescription ofloxacin eye drops.
- Syringes, needles.
- Suture forceps.
- Surgical clamps, scissors, scalpel blades.
There was no evidence the surgical instruments were properly sterilized by an autoclave, which is a high-pressure steam chamber used in hospitals and medical clinics to sterilize equipment, the College of Physicians and Surgeons said.
Fraser Health, the local health authority, reviewed the evidence and determined the college should take the unusual step of warning the public.
Patients are advised to see their family physicians immediately to be tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and C.
During the raid last month two Delta police vehicles blocked the driveway of the home as eight investigators entered and searched the two-storey home.
CBC News arrived shortly after the raid began, after receiving a tip from the public that police were at the residence.
Investigators were seen removing more than a dozen bankers’ boxes of material and a Mac computer from the home.
Investigators appeared to focus on the basement of the home, where Li’s business registration could be seen through the window, framed on the wall. It appeared along with certificates that appear to suggest Li has medical credentials.
However, she is not a registrant of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is not a licensed physician listed on any publicly available database worldwide.
She is believed to be a tattoo artist with training in esthetics and makeup application.
‘Combat Aging’ says poster on wall
A poster written only in Chinese characters on the wall of the basement clinic wall suggests more than tattooed permanent makeup were being offered.
The large poster shows before and after photos of women’s faces and says “Combat aging, revert to a younger age.”
Property records show that the owner of the house is Thomas Jeffrey Quinn, Li’s husband.
According to Quinn’s Facebook posts, he returned to Delta in 2015, with his family after teaching ESL in China for eight years.
No comment from alleged fake doctor
City records show Quinn obtained a permit for a $20,000 basement renovation in 2015, and neighbours say the pavement and stairs leading to the basement entrance are new.
Li and Quinn have not responded to two written requests for an interview from CBC News.
“We’re OK,” was all Quinn said, when CBC knocked on the door requesting to speak to Li.
Court file remains sealed
The civil court file is sealed in B.C. Supreme Court and the college is still examining the items seized.
A court order temporarily restrains Li from providing any service that must be performed by a physician, including Botox injections and surgery.
The college is expected to release more information at a telephone conference call scheduled for 2 pm Tuesday.
The investigation is being conducted by the college, which has sole jurisdiction to police doctors and anyone who performs the work of a physician without a medical licence,
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