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Headache befalls UK medical advice site

Plug pulled on sick website

Alliance UniChem has pulled the plug on its newly launched website Good-Doctor.com, a site intended to help patients and doctors find good medical specialists, when it was revealed by the British Medical Association that two of the site's recommended doctors had been taken off the UK's Medical Register last year for "serious professional misconduct," the company confirmed today.

Good-Doctor.com, which had featured the tag line, "getting you quickly to the best treatment," included recommendations for gynecologist Richard Neale and psychiatrist Francis Eno Eteng, whom the BMA identified as having been disallowed last year from legally practicing medicine in the UK, the BMA said in a statement.

"One has to assume that it was just an error. The site went up as a test but was brought down yesterday," said Liz Morley, a spokeswoman for Alliance UniChem.

Good-Doctor.com had created a database of 13,000 UK doctors by sending out questionnaires to every doctor listed in public records such as the Medical Register.

"We collected the data and started the test site with the questionnaires that had been returned. Everything is being re-verified now," Morley said.

Morley did not know when the site would go live again.

Good-Doctor.com went live last week and was made public for a "few days" in order to generate feedback from doctors, Morley said. The Web site now reads "the test site of The Good Doctor has been temporarily withdrawn."

Pharmaceutical distributor, Alliance UniChem is a majority shareholder in the site which plans to generate revenues through the sale of private medical insurance.

In its review of Good-Doctor.com, the BMA also noted that its own GP (general practitioner) committee chairman, John Chisholm was incorrectly listed by the site as an oncologist, the BMA said.


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