an investigation opened in Montpellier for “illegal practice of medicine” – Liberation

Already criticized for referring naturopaths with dubious practices, the appointment-booking platform is under fire from critics following Radio France’s revelation of the presence of fake doctors on the site.

Doctolib is back in the storm. An investigation was opened in July for “illegal practice of medicine” against two people who posed as psychiatrists on the online platform for booking appointments, Montpellier prosecutors said on Friday. , confirming information from the investigative unit of Radio France.

A patient, Carole R, discovered the scam and filed a complaint after notifying the group. In June, this mother seeks to consult a psychiatrist to renew a prescription for Ritalin, the treatment of her two children who suffer from attention disorders.

But his regular doctor is on vacation. Carole R. then turns to another doctor, found on Doctolib. He says his name is David Cantat and introduces his replacement on his page: “Laura Smith”. The consultation takes place on video, on WhatsApp, without Laura Smith turning on her camera. Carole R. describes to Radio France an exchange “moon”.My children’s pathology is called ADHD [pour trouble de l’attention avec hyperactivité, ndlr]. So I spoke to her with this abbreviation, but I could see that she did not understand. she explains. Carole R. never receives a prescription and suspiciously appeals to her bank not to be charged for the consultation amount. She reported the situation to Doctolib on June 21 and filed a complaint, which was confirmed to AFP by Me Madeleine Archimbaud, her lawyer.

“Naturally, no prior checks were made”

The case informs the departmental council of the medical order of Hérault, which also lodges a complaint, in Montpellier. “Obviously no due diligence was done,” explains its president, doctor Philippe Cathala, to the investigative unit of Radio France. To be referenced on Doctolib, healthcare professionals have a period of fifteen days to provide the necessary documents for identity verification. However, during this interval they can use the platform without their right to practice having been confirmed.

Last week, the Doctolib group had already been the target of a controversy, for referring naturopaths with questionable practices from the galaxy of Thierry Casasnova and Irène Grosjean. Faced with the growing controversy, Doctolib announced on Monday that it had suspended the profiles of 17 practitioners linked to these two characters. The following day, the Swedish Medical Association asked Doctolib to strengthen its ethical rules for registration on the platform.

Strengthening of verification procedures

The heavyweight of online appointment booking announced on Wednesday in a press release the abolition of the fifteen-day period previously given to healthcare professionals. It was during this period that the two fake doctors were able to conduct consultations. No agreement can be “is carried out on Doctolib before the verification of the right to practice is effective”, secures the site.

A dedicated team will also check the identities and presentation sheets of professionals carrying out unregulated wellness activities, including naturopaths. They now represent 3% of GPs referred on the platform and 0.3% of appointments. The group also announced the opening of a consultation with its medical and professional committee, the inter-ministerial mission for vigilance and combating sectarian aberrations, health professional unions, health orders, patient associations and health authorities.”in order to better regulate the referral of unregulated practitionerss” on the platform, ensuring that new measures will be taken after this consultation.

Update : update with confirmation of the investigation by the prosecutor’s office.

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