By Lisa Williams-Lahari - firstname.lastname@example.org
An Auckland GP says thousands of parents and supporters who've petitioned New Zealand's Disciplinary Tribunal in a bid to reverse a hefty fine against popular Cook Islands doctor Joseph Williams, should take their signatures to parliament.
Between two petitions launched by supporters, including parents of more than 70,000 patients successfully treated for eczema by Williams, more than 10,000 signatures have been gathered.
Dr Williams, who is a former Prime Minister, has previously broken new ground in tropical diseases and treatment.
He is also an expert on eczema and has published a book based on his approach and research.
Patients have flown from across the world to see him for treatment and have joined the signatures to the petitions.
Dr Williams was reported to the tribunal by two dermatologists over the combining of two approved creams at what reviewers claimed were 'unsafe' levels.
He was also cited for a treatment regime which had not been put to clinical trials or formal research.
Since the initial ruling against him and losing the appeal, Dr Williams has resumed treating patients from his Mt Wellington clinic, with conditions for children under 12 years.
He is refusing community support to help with more than $150,000 in costs and fines from the tribunal.
His longtime colleague Dr Robert Woonton says the complaint and investigation led by the tribunal raises more questions and the petitioners would do best to go over the tribunal and straight to the top to those who gave them the power.
Asked what should happen with the thousands of signatures from petitioners who've created a flood of support for Dr Williams, Dr Woonton suggests all that can be done is to take the support all the way to the New Zealand Parliament.
"We should present it to parliament, to the health minister. These [disciplinary tribunal] people have the power given to them by parliament and it would be right, we have the right to go through the proper channels."