Northern Ireland

Dr Finbar Magee: Suspended GP defends alternative methods

Synergy healthcare clinic, Belfast Image copyright RTE
Image caption Dr Finbar Magee was behind the Synergy healthcare clinic in Belfast

A doctor behind an alternative medicine centre who has been suspended by the General Medical Council says he has always acted "through conscience".

Dr Finbar Magee founded Synergy Healthcare on the Cregagh Road.

In May, RTÉ's Prime Time programme reported he had prescribed treating a child's autism with a supplement that includes the main ingredient of bleach.

The GMC has not said why he was suspended. Dr Magee said his treatments did not give patients false hope.

'Routine medicine'

Asked why he thought he had been suspended from practising as a GP, Dr Magee said he believed the GMC had "listened to a combination of information, obtained mainly from the health board".

"Whenever I went back to do GP locums, I thought I'd integrate back into routine medicine to some degree and bring some of those ideas," he told the BBC.

"The health board needed to know what other work I was doing. I gave them the information quite freely, and I think they tried to make out that I was taking advantage of vulnerable people for financial gain.

"The health board tried to make out that the treatments I've been doing have no scientific validation, which is completely untrue."

Conditions

Prime Time reported that in 2011, Dr Magee had prescribed MMS, or "miracle mineral supplement", to treat a Dublin child with autism who was suffering stomach cramps and chronic hives.

Dr Magee told the programme he had not prescribed MMS for a couple of years, but defended it.

Last December, Dr Magee was referred to a panel that imposed conditions on his practice of medicine.

It said he must confine his practice to his east Belfast clinic, and work under the supervision of a GP approved by the GMC.

The investigation into Dr Magee continued, and he was further referred to the panel which then took the decision to suspend him.

Dr Magee told the BBC: "I've tried my best all my life and I've tried to follow it through conscience.

"If that is not good enough to get my licence back and get off this, then so be it."

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