'Cult' investigation nears completion: Health watchdog
A HEALTH watchdog is yet to finalise the outcome of an investigation into Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.
It's been just over 12 months since Mr Benhayon was found to be "the leader of a socially harmful cult" and "a charlatan" by the Supreme Court jury in his unsuccessful defamation case against blogger Esther Rockett.
Mr Benhayon's Goonellabah-based "complementary health" business has since been under fire from Friends of Science in Medicine, including over the jury's finding that UM "makes false claims about healing that cause harm to others".
The Health Care Complaints Commission confirmed in February it had received a complaint from FSM and at that time said an assessment of that complaint had been completed.
Friends of Science in Medicine president and University of NSW Emeritus Professor John Dwyer said that complaint related to 20 non-registered health practitioners connected to UM.
The complaint alleged breaches of a code of ethics set out by the HCCC.
A spokesman for the commission earlier said its investigation into the complaint against UM and Mr Benhayon was nearing completion in July.
This week, he said the outcome of the investigation was now subject to final submissions.
"The Commission has determined its draft outcomes regarding its investigations of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon," he said.
"As legislatively required, these are currently subject to consideration of any final submission received from Universal Medicine or Mr Benhayon on these proposed outcomes, at which point the Commission will then be finalising its investigations."
Since the defamation trial, Mr Benhayon was ordered to pay Ms Rockett costs in the realm of $1.2 million, he and some supporters who'd published articles about Ms Rockett issued "unreserved" apologies and Lismore MP Janelle Saffin spoke in NSW Parliament calling for an inquiry into UM.