Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Bhagat to sue Medical Council for defamation

Despite claims by the Botswana Health Professions Council suggesting that Dr Kiran Bhagat fraudulently held himself out as a Specialist Physician when he was only a General Physician, the Sunday Standard has turned up documents detailing that he is trained in cardiology and may properly call himself a cardiologist.

The Sunday Standard has raised findings of the Moffat audit allegedly commissioned by the Botswana Health Professions Council, which states that the committee “concluded that Dr Bhagat is trained in cardiology and may properly call himself a cardiologist”.

Despite the findings of the Moffat audit, the Council has refused to register Dr Bhagat as a cardiologist and, instead, issued a public notice that he is a general physician.

Collins Legal Consultants, who are acting for Dr Bhagat, have already notified chairman and members of the Botswana Health Professions Council of their intention to sue for defamation.

The law firm says the public notice against Dr Bhagat issued by the council last week was “actionable libel of the worst kind which a professional doctor can experience”.

“There can be no doubt at all given the history recorded above, that you issued the said Public Notice with the express intention of defaming my client in order that he loses the custom of his very large clientele base resulting in his financial ruin. Unless the public notice is unconditionally retracted with an appropriate apology in the national press, to be settled by Wednesday 14th April 2010 my client will take steps needed to inform the public of the true state of affairs and of course sue immediately for very substantial punitive libel damages which your conduct has brought about.

“Please note that the retraction and apology aforesaid will go some way to mitigate the damage caused to my client but can never absolve your conduct entirely and all his legal rights are reserved.

“ As publication of the Public Notice was motivated by some malicious grudge against my client on the part of Council neither it nor its members can claim immunity or privilege under the provisions of Section 16 of the Act or at the common law. Council members will accordingly be joined to the contemplated defamation in their personal capacities.”

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