Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Struck-off GP ordered to pay $106,190 costs

Suresh Vatsyayann. Photo / Christine Cornege
Suresh Vatsyayann. Photo / Christine Cornege

A controversial Hamilton GP who has been found guilty of professional misconduct must pay $106,190 in costs and has strict conditions imposed on him should he try to practise as a doctor again.

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has released its decision on the struck-off doctor Suresh Vatsyayann, 62, who was found guilty of one part of a six-part charge where he allegedly failed to diagnose a woman with bowel cancer who died.

The 66-year-old woman, whose name was suppressed, visited Dr Vatsyayann 17 times between November 2007 and November 2008 complaining of pain and exhaustion and was diagnosed with iron deficiency and gastritis, and prescribed iron tablets.

Tests arranged by another doctor revealed tumours in her large intestine and liver.

Dr Vatsyayann was found guilty of failing to adequately follow up signs of pathology in his patient and was ordered to pay $34,560 to cover half the cost of the Health and Disability Director of Proceedings and $71,630 towards the $143,260 tribunal costs.

But the Health and Disability Director of Proceedings, Aaron Martin, is challenging three other parts relating to diagnosing gastritis without proper checks, and failing to adequately document care.

He was unable to elaborate on why he was appealing because the matter was before the High Court, but during the hearing said the misconduct was of such a nature that it warranted deregistration or suspension.

Dr Vatsyayann was struck off the medical register last May after registering dead people to his practice in order to gain extra funding.

The tribunal said rules have been placed on him which will make it difficult for him to practise again.

He will have to have a psychological assessment, approved by the Medical Council, before resuming practice, and for the first three years seek ongoing clinical psychological treatment, and work in a group practice under a supervisor, all of which must be approved by the Medical Council.

- NZ Herald

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