Regulatory bodies look into alleged UM-linked professionals
STATE regulatory bodies have been asked to look into allegations against health practitioners allegedly linked with Universal Medicine.
A spokesman for the Department of Health has confirmed Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt wrote to the CEO of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, Martin Fletcher, on November 16 last year.
He said this correspondence related to Mr Hunt's "concerns for public safety in relation to the provision of certain services being provided by organisations allegedly with links to cults".
These concerns arose from a Supreme Court jury in the unsuccessful defamation case Universal Medicine founder, Serge Benhayon, brought against blogger and former client Esther Rockett.
The jury found Ms Rockett's statements that Mr Benhayon was "the leader of a socially harmful cult" and that UM "engages in misleading conduct", "makes false claims about healing that cause harm to others" and "preys on cancer patients" to be "substantially true".
It's understood the concerns involve, in part, a Sydney doctor accused of publicly supporting UM and a Queensland-based teacher, also an associate of the group, who had been receiving NDIS funding.
The spokesman said Mr Fletcher wrote back to Mr Hunt on December 13, saying the national body would bring allegations raised in news reports "to the attention of the relevant health complaints entities in NSW and Queensland".
He said this included the Health Care Complaints Commission in NSW and the Office of the Health Ombudsman in Queensland.
A spokeswoman for AHPRA said they "cannot comment on individual matters" but confirmed Mr Hunt wrote to the AHPRA CEO "following concerns published in the media" in two reports in October last year "and in relation to a number of practitioners both registered and unregistered".
Along with the HCCC and the OHO, she said AHPRA had drawn the concerns to the attention of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Safety and Quality Commission.
The HCCC did not respond to a request for comment and a spokeswoman for the OHO confirmed the office was "aware of allegations concerning Universal Medicine".
The Medical Council of NSW was also unable to comment on specifics about any complaints before them.