Psychiatrist guilty of unprofessional conduct for using outdated diagnostic scale

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Dr Brendan Belsham

A Johannesburg child psychiatrist who has written a book about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been fined R40,000 by the  Health Professionals Council of SA for unprofessional conduct. He had used an outdated  diagnostic scale in assisting with the diagnosis of ADHD of a child and then prescribed a treatment plan using Ritalin

MedicalBrief Note: An earlier version of this item identified Dr Brendan Belsham as a psychologist. Due to the failure of the HPCSA to provide us with the official findings, despite several requests, MedicalBrief had relied on published newspaper reports, which incorrectly identified Belsham as a psychologist. That is incorrect. He is a psychiatrist. We apologise for perpetuating the error.

The Times reports that the finding against Dr Brendan Belsham, author of the book What’s the Fuss About ADHD, was delivered on 1 April. The report says Belsham declined to comment.

The finding follows a complaint to the council in February 2018 which was levelled against Belsham by Johannesburg father David Nefdt-Epstein. Nefdt-Epstein’s complaint centred on the accuracy of tools Belsham was using to assist in diagnosing children, including his son, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Belsham diagnosed his son with ADHD in 2017.

The Times report

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