Doctor admits errors caused hepatitis cases

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A doctor who was struck off 20 years ago admitted yesterday that he caused an outbreak of acute hepatitis B in 1997 after failing to dispose of needles and clinical waste at his alternative medicine centre.

A doctor who was struck off 20 years ago admitted yesterday that he caused an outbreak of acute hepatitis B in 1997 after failing to dispose of needles and clinical waste at his alternative medicine centre.

Dr Madhusudan Shivadikar, 70, failed to "exercise proper infection control" at his practice in Finchley, north London, a professional conduct committee of the General Medical Council was told.

He admitted a string of clinical blunders but denies they amount to serious professional misconduct. His mistakes led to the infection of 60 peoplebetween 1997 and 1998, a spokesman for Barnet Health Authority said.

Dr Shivadikar is known to have served 18 months in jail in the late 1970s for performing illegal abortions. He was convicted on two charges of unlawfully using an instrument with intent to procure a miscarriage at Leicester Crown Court in 1978. He was struck off after the conviction but reinstated a year later, in March 1980, and was free to practise again.

In the latest case, Dr Shivadikar admitted failing to take appropriate measures to prevent himself, staff, patients and others from being exposed to the risk of serious communicable diseases.

This included not exercising proper infection control and not making adequate provisions for the disposal of needles and clinical waste. He also allowed his untrained daughter to work in the Finchley Alternative Medicine Centre, taking blood and administering injections.

Dr Shivadikar also admitted misleading an incident control team set up by Barnet council by failing to disclose his daughter performed skin-breaching procedures and by not keeping adequate records.

He also did not reveal that multi-dose bottles of saline were topped up from larger bottles. The doctor performed a procedure called auto-haemotherapy, which is meant to help allergy sufferers.

The hearing continues.

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