Doctors found guilty of botching up a hair transplant in a salon that left a medical student dead and another doctor who pulled the plug off her ailing father in the intensive care unit should have been suspended from practice. But the regulatory authority, the Tamil Nadu Medical Council, is unable to act on them because of the lack of an elected 10-member council.
In June, after the council’s tenure came to an end with members dragging each other to court over allegations of mismanagement and abuse of powers, the Madras high court appointed a retired judge, justice K Venkataraman, as administrator to the council. One of the prime duties of the court-appointed administrator is to conduct elections within three months. “At least three doctors have been found guilty of negligence by a disciplinary committee. We have received at least 20 more complaints against doctors, but we will not be able to initiate any action because there is no elected counsel,” said Venkatraman.
Although the judge has sought information from doctors in at least five cases, no action, including disciplinary inquiry, can be initiated against them. According to the rule book, the council has set up a three-member disciplinary committee to conduct the inquiry. While seven members are yet to be elected to the council, the position of one of the three government nominees is vacant. “Even if government nominates another doctor, the disciplinary can only recommend action. An elected council is the only powerful authority,” Venkataraman said.
He has been carrying out day-to day administration, elections cannot be held before December as the electoral rolls in the council are not updated, the retired judeg said. The council has registered about 1.25 lakh doctors but the list hasn’t been updated for long. On July 26, the council put out advertisements calling members to furnish change of address for revision of electoral rolls on or before August 28. “The response hasn’t been good so far. So, we have emailed some doctors and asked doctors’ associations to help us,” Venkatraman said.
Once the electoral rolls are updated, the council will have to call for nominations and scrutinise applications. “We won’t be able to complete the elections until December,” he added.
Anti-baldness treatment yields no hair, clinic told to refund money
AHMEDABAD: Hiren Shah from Surat failed miserably in his bid to ‘rediscover’ himself by growing new hair on his balding head. He sued the clinic for the failed treatment and the side effects caused by the medicines he took.
In a recent order, the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Surat directed Discover Clinic Pvt Ltd to return the money they charged Shah with interest. The court asked the clinic, its head and the doctor who treated Shah to refund Rs 75,000 with 8% interest besides paying him Rs 2,000 as compensation for physical and mental torture and Rs 2,000 towards the expenditure that Shah incurred on the court case.
In Shah’s case, representatives of Rediscover Clinic approached him in April 2014. He visited the clinic and chose a treatment for body hair removal and weight loss for Rs 25,000. He also agreed for a hair cultivation treatment and paid Rs 50,000 extra for it.
Shah told the court that in six sittings and he was given platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. The doctor also prescribed him medicines and he spent extra money on them. However, he did not find the treatment to have any beneficial effects and the medicine caused side effects. He complained about this to the clinic, but the staff behaved rudely with him.
Shah approached the consumer court and showed the evidence of the various amounts paid to the clinic. The court sought the clinic’s reply, but no one came to dispute Shah’s case. The court finally passed an ex-parte order for refund of the money within one month.
In the past, a consumer court had ordered an ayurvedic dispensary to refund payments and pay compensation to Hemant Patel from Navsari, who was promised an increase in his sperm count and mobility with a year-long treatment.
In yet another weird deal, a consumer court directed a city-based vastu consultancy firm to refund one Ramesh Solanki and fined the firm Rs 10,000 for prescribing rituals which failed to solve Solanki’s domestic problems.
Bald botch-up with stem cells: Forum rips hair transplant unit
HYDERABAD: Cracking the whip on a private healthcare centre for resorting to ‘unethical practices’ to treat baldness, a district consumer forum here directed it to refund Rs 50,000 to a customer, paid as fee for treatment that yielded no result. It also directed the centre to cough up an additional Rs 25,000 as compensation for harassment and making false promises.