21 Apr 2011

Doctor found guilty of misconduct struck off

7:38 pm on 21 April 2011

A Hamilton GP found guilty of professional misconduct has been struck off by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay record costs for such a hearing.

Suresh Vatsyayann allowed his unqualified wife to perform medical procedures and also claimed for patients that did not exist.

He was found guilty by the tribunal earlier in April and its penalty against him was decided on Thursday at a hearing in Hamilton.

Dr Vatsyayann did not appear at the hearing and has been ordered to pay costs of $256,000.

The Tribunal described Dr Vatsyayann's actions as grave and negligent.

Dr Vatsyayann was found guilty of allowing his wife, who is not a trained or registered nurse, to carry out cervical smears, give vaccinations and remove intra-uterine devices.

The Tribunal also found that he had signed off medical records indicating that he had performed the procedures.

He was also found guilty of enrolling patients at his clinic without their consent, falsifying the notes of two patients and breaching patient privacy by conducting more than one consultation in the same room.

It is the second time the GP has been found guilty of professional misconduct. In 2008, he was fined and censured for producing false and misleading clinical notes.

Dr Vatsyayann is to appear before the Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal again in May on new charge over an alleged cancer mis-diagnosis.