The Botswana Health Professions Council (BHPC) has filed documents with the High Court in Lobatse suggesting that Dr Kiran Bhagat, who is practicing as a cardiologist, may be an imposter.
The affidavit suggests that Dr Kiran Bhagat may be using the identity of one Dr Kaushik Kumar B Bhagat who was registered as a specialist physician in 1996.
An affidavit filed by the council, along with its 13 members, states that “the person registered as a Specialist Physician in 1996 was one Kaushik ÔÇô Kumar B Bhagat”.
The affidavit further claims that those particulars of claim were altered in 2006 from the names of KaushikÔÇôKumar B. Bhagat to that of Dr Kiran Bhagat.
The council states that Dr Kiran Bhagat “has therefore never been lawfully registered” with the council in accordance with the provisions of the Botswana Health Professions Act and that their Director was in error in so far as Bhagat had not complied with the provisions of section 9 (4) of the Act and that, therefore, the permission was contrary to the provisions of the Act.
Their Director, the affidavit said, was labouring under a mistaken but honest belief that Bhagat was entitled to be granted the permission when, in law and in fact, Bhagat was not entitled to such permission. The permission, the affidavit said, was contrary to their Act and that therefore it was unlawful, having no force or effect and liable to be revoked or set aside.
It further says that Bhagat had all along purported to renew his registration as a general physician and not as a specialist physician as alleged. It further denies that there was any clerical error in designating Bhagat general physician in so far as Bhagat himself on an annual basis applied to renew his resignation as a general physician.
The signature of DR Joseph Makhema, designating Bhagat as a specialist physician, was in error as it was done at the time Bhagat requested the registered person’s names, namely Kaushik-Kumar B Bhagat, to be altered to his own and that Makhema was labouring under a mistaken but honest belief that the alteration was as to names only and not the type of registration.
They say that Dr Makhema denies that he was aware that Bhagat was a specialist physician, which matter Bhagat relies on Makhema’s signature on his certificate.
BHPC, along with its 13 members, have entered an appearance to defend against Dr Bhagat’s law suit. They say between 2005 and 2008 , the Council was engaged in the process of collecting relevant registration documents from all health professionals and a general audit of the documents in possession of the council resulting in call-ups for updates at various stages.
The affidavit says that the Council reviewed Bhagat’s documents and considered historical information and correspondence under Registration Number 1B-53 (blue cards) and discovered the following:
That in 1996, when Bhagat was purportedly registered with the Botswana Medical Council , his qualifications were MBChB and MRCP and, thus, he would not have been eligible for registration as a general physician.
That Bhagat’s registration has always reflected his provision as a physician and that, in terms of current registration; he would be a general physician. Further that he has never requested the Council to change or upgrade his profession or registration status from that of general physician to any other till when he was requested to regularize his registration with the Council.
That when applying for regularization, Bhagat applied as a general physician.
That the Council had required Bhagat to regularize his registration as a cardiologist in so far as no such registration has been made by the Council with respect to Bhagat, whilst he purported and held himself out as a consultant cardiologist.
That the Council was obliged to apply the provisions of the Act with respect to the registration of Bhagat as a cardiologist and that Bhagat had applied with full knowledge that he had been practicing and holding himself out as a cardiologist when he had not been registered in accordance with law to practice as such.
That the request by the Council was calling upon Bhagat to comply with the provisions of the Act and that Bhagat’s application was an acknowledgement that Bhagat was not in compliance with the law in so far as he practiced or purported to practice cardiology without registration under the Act.
Further Botswana Health Professions and the other 13 people have, therefore, never lawfully registered with Kiran Bhagat in accordance with the provisions of Botswana Health Professions Act.