Public Statement - Mr Rama Prasad – Ayurvedic Practitioner – Permanent Prohibition Order
7 December 2021
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission conducted an investigation concerning Mr Rama Prasad, an unregistered health practitioner, providing Ayurvedic treatments and medications. Health services were provided by Mr Prasad online, via telehealth consultations and from practice premises located in Bondi Junction, NSW.
The Commission’s investigation was instigated by a complaint alleging Mr Prasad had prescribed an Ayurvedic medication, ‘Manasamitram Vatikam’, which was found to contain lead, mercury and arsenic, in quantities unacceptable by Australian standards. The medication had been prescribed to a 3 year old child (Patient A) for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder, which Mr Prasad had claimed he was capable of ‘reversing’ and/or ‘curing’.
The Commission’s investigation found that Mr Prasad had breached several aspects of the Code of Conduct applicable to unregistered health practitioners, as set out in Schedule 3 of the Public Health Regulation (‘the Code of Conduct’). In particular, the Commission found that:
Mr Prasad breached the requirement to provide health services in a safe and ethical manner under Clause 3(1) of the Code of Conduct, by:
Making claims about his ability to cure autism using Ayurveda, without any peer reviewed or evidence-based research to support those claims;
Making claims about the efficacy of Manasamitram Vatikam in curing autism, improving cognitive functioning and inducing speech, without any peer reviewed or evidence based research to support those claims;
Prescribing Manasamitram Vatikam pills to autistic patients in circumstances where he was aware there was no peer reviewed or evidence-based research to support the claim that any herbal or pharmaceutical medication could assist in the treatment or cure of autism;
Making representations about his qualifications and used the title ‘doctor’ in a manner which was misleading to consumers;
Publishing material (including health information and advice) that was critical of conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals (without evidence to verify his assertions). The published material was intended and/or capable of dissuading health consumers from seeking conventional medical treatments in favour of Ayurvedic treatments;
Failing to recommend that his patients seek additional opinions and/or services from appropriate health practitioners;
Failing to encourage his patients to inform their treating medical practitioners about proposed Ayurvedic treatments and medications;
Prescribing Ayurvedic treatments without possessing the necessary competence and qualifications to identify potential adverse interactions with conventional pharmaceuticals;
Providing care and treatment with respect to depression, anxiety, dementia, cancer, infertility and pediatric nutrition without possessing the necessary qualifications or competence to do so;
Prescribing and supplying patients with an Ayurvedic medication in which he held a financial interest. In at least two instances, Mr Prasad failed to disclose his financial interests when prescribing and supplying to patients;
Prescribing, supplying and promoting a particular brand of Ayurvedic medications in circumstances where he had a commercial relationship with the supplier of those goods and did not disclose to patients and consumers the financial benefits obtained from the promotion and supply of these products;
Delivering health education which claimed to confer upon participants credentials that would qualify them to provide Ayurvedic health services, in circumstances where he held no authority to confer such qualifications; and
Misleading the Commission when giving evidence about Person C and his financial interests.
Breached Clause 5 of the Code of Conduct by making claims about the ability to treat and cure Cancer using Ayurveda, without evidence to substantiate the claims made;
Breached Clause 15 of the Code of Conduct by failing to maintain appropriate clinical records; and
Breached Clause 17 of the Code of Conduct by failing to display at the Bondi Junction practice rooms a copy of the Code of Conduct and information about how patients could make a complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission.
The Commission also considers that Mr Prasad poses a risk to the health and safety of members of the public.
Accordingly, the Commission makes the following permanent prohibition order under section 41A of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993:
Mr Rama Prasad, an Ayurvedic Practitioner, is permanently prohibited from providing, or causing to be provided, any health services, either in paid employment or voluntarily, to any member of the public.
For the purposes of this order, a health services carries the same meaning as defined under section 4 of the Act.
Access the Commission’s Statement of Decision here.
Access to the Commission's media release here.
For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on (02) 9219 7444 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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