I am a former patient of “Dr” Tarik N Bokhari, chiropractor based in PECHS Karachi. I was suffering from severe back spasms which were extremely painful and had made it difficult for me to walk, sit in a car, sit on a chair or do anything except lie down in bed. I went for physiotherapy to Ziauddin where I was receiving hydrotherapy and I was feeling better but it seemed like it was taking too long and I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible. A friend of mine told me about Tarik Bokhari and said, “he is greedy but he’s good at what he does”. I thought to myself that I would be willing to pay a premium if I could get back to work sooner and overcome the pain I was suffering from.
When I visited Tarik Bokhari’s office, he sat with me and talked to me about my issues before he told me to lie down and start my first session. I asked him how much it would cost and he said he charges PKR 8,000 per session. I was shocked because physiotherapy at every other respectable clinic/hospital in Karachi costs anywhere from PKR 450 to PKR 700 per session and Tarik Bokhari was charging more than 10 times the next most expensive alternative. I told him that the fees he was proposing were outrageous and I expected him to reduce the amount….he told me that I could start today and he would assess me and accommodate me.
After the first session was over, we talked and he told me that he would need to do 50 sessions and that he would reduce the fee by PKR 1,000 per session to PKR 7,000 per session. He also said that the first session would be charged at PKR 8,000 and would not count as part of the 50 sessions. I responded by telling him that 50 sessions was way too many and PKR 7,000 was still too much. He told me he would do his best and that I should start immediately and he would see what he could do. Since I was in a lot of pain and my life had come to a standstill, I just wanted relief and was willing to leave it to his humanity and judgement to not take advantage of me….I realized later that this was a big mistake. Below are the details of my experience with him and a WARNING to anyone considering him as their chiropractor/physiotherapist.
Since I was unable to function, let alone drive, I had a family member accompany me…most of the time my father was kind enough to come to the sessions with me. This was not only for logistical issues but also because I had been in pain for months by this time and I was quite depressed so my father wanted to keep me company and help keep up my spirits. He didn’t attend the first session but for the second he came with me. He spoke to Tarik Bokhari and said he (Tarik) would reduce his fees and would take care of me..but he didn’t specify how much he would reduce his fees and said he would tell us later. Whenever I tried to talk to him and there were people in the room, I tried to speak to him outside and he avoided talking to me on the subject. I continued to attend every day because of the intensity of the pain I was feeling..I kept hoping that I would at least be able to reduce the pain and start functioning normally but even 15 sessions later nothing changed, including the fact that Tarik was avoiding the subject of his fees. One day I confronted him during the session and he said his cost for each session was PKR 6.700 and he was only making a few hundred rupees profit.
I asked him how on earth that was possible and he told me that his TENS machine requires silver electrodes which he has to replace after every use and he imports them from the US. I looked up the Dynatron TENS machine he uses and the machine costs USD 3,500 (or PKR 350,000) to buy outright from anywhere in the USA and IT DOES NOT USE SILVER ELECTRODES of any kind and nothing in the machine needs to be replaced after every use. Tarik Bokhari was telling the most ridiculous lie to justify his fees. Clearly even in his lies Tarik Bokhari is asserting that the machine is worth PKR 6,700 session and Tarik himself is only worth PKR 300 per session…that’s probably the only truth he’s told thus far.
The entire session with Tarik Bokhari was about the TENS machine…and he uses the same TENS machine on every patient. In a 45-60 minute session he will use the TENS machine for 40 minutes, he may provide a brief massage of less than 5 minutes and the rest was either waiting or some other little gimmick that lasted no more than a couple of minutes. Essentially Tarik Bokhari is merely using the TENS machine…not much more than that…and for that he is charging PKR 7,000 for 40 minutes. This is a machine you can buy for PKR 350,000 which admittedly is much more than the cheaper TENS machines used by physiotherapists in Karachi, but no way is this worth PKR 7,000 per 40 minutes…..this is highway robbery! Notice the tattoo of a rat on Tarik Bokari’s right forearm…I think he couldn’t have picked a more appropriate animal to represent him.
After 16 sessions we again confronted him and told him it was impossible that his cost was PKR 6,700 per session and that he should reduce his fees. My father kept advising me to stop going to Tarik but I somehow felt that the outrageous amount he was charging couldn’t be so blatantly worthless…I felt that I would somehow start feeling the impact of his great knowledge soon…that just didn’t happen. After the 17th session I just kept getting worse and decided that I would go anywhere outside the country or to another doctor but Tarik was simply milking us for all the money we were willing to pay without any results to show for it. I was always willing to pay a lot of money for my health but Tarik was charging a lot of money and my health was getting worse.
I told Tarik that my health was getting worse and that I had my doubts about his treatments… then he told me one of the most audacious lies I ever heard…he said he was “reversing the polarity” of my nerves. He said the spasms in my back were being caused by nerves misfiring…that was true…but was wast true was that they were pulling up and down and side to side in every wrong direction possible because the electrical charges in my nerves had somehow been reversed. In layman’s terms, he was saying the negative charge and the positive charge had been reversed and he told me he’s the only person in Pakistan who can correct it. He told me about another patient he had 6 months prior who had the same problem and that person is now doing great. He said he needed to complete 50 sessions to get that result. Any person of reasonable intelligence can tell you that there is no such thing as reversing the polarity of your nerves….he doesn’t even have any shame telling such bold lies to his patients.
He prescribed lots of medicines which I initially took but when my health kept getting worse he gave me pills without telling me what they are…when I asked, he wouldn’t tell me. I checked up on the net after reading the back of the pill and they were for hypertension.
Also notable was that his assistant Sohail called every day to schedule appointments and was like a pushy salesman. I told him off and told him to stop calling me and I would call to make appointments when I wanted to. Then Tarik Bokhari called and was pushy and insisted I see him next day because he didn’t want to “Waste all the good work”. I told him I would come to see him in the morning but didn’t schedule an appointment. When I didn’t meet him in the morning he sent me an angry sms telling me he couldn’t work with a patient when he didn’t know what the patient wanted…he also said he had blocked a slot for me in the morning and I didn’t show up.
I also noticed that he would leave patients in the room with the TENS machine connected to their body and he would disappear back into his house…the clinic is in his house. He would go for his workout in his home gym, or go for lunch, or simply go and start dealing with workers outside. Often the TENS machine would run for 40 minutes and even after 40 minutes I and other patients were waiting for up to 30 minutes for Tarik to come back…we had wires connected to us and we just waited for him. This was not once in a while but pretty much daily.
Another thing noticeable about Tarik Bokhari’s practice is that female patients would be lying down on his table and he would have his workers, drivers and others coming in and out of the room constantly. He would be giving them money for work he was having done in the house or to buy things from outside…there was absolutely no concept of patient privacy.
I spoke to my sister who is a doctor and told her about my sessions with Tarik Bokhari, I also discussed my sessions with the neurosurgeons I was consulting with…ALL of them agreed that physiotherapy usually consists of only a few sessions except in very serious cases and Tarik Bokari’s routine of making patients do dozens of sessions was just unethical. If after a few sessions you don’t see a difference, then there is something wrong. I had been to 17 sessions and I was actually feeling worse than when I started. My spasms were initially only in my lower back but after 12 sessions with Tarik my spasms had reached every part of my back. Tarik told me my entire back/spine had been pulled to one side and therefore it was expected that the spasms would spread as the treatment corrected the position of the spine…this was an outright lie.
When I had PKR 7,000 due after 17 sessions I asked him to apply the discount he had promised and he said he’d waive the PKR 7,000. Then I got a call from Sohail, his assistant and he was bitterly complaining to me that his salary would be deducted if I didn’t pay up. I told him Tarik had already waived the fee but Sohail said that Tarik told him he would deduct it from his salary and he begged me to come pay. He said, “we don’t give loans usually”. I was very angry and told him he should learn how to deal with patients/customers and not use the term loan since I did not borrow money but instead had paid over PKR 100,000 for physiotherapy which is unheard of and Tarik had already waived the PKR 7,000…so how dare he use the term “loan” in reference to that amount. He kept insisting that I pay but I had enough of Tarik Bokhari and his assistant. My father pointed out to me that he didn’t think Tarik Bokhari even paid taxes since he didn’t give us any receipts, there was no NTN number on any of his walls and my father noticed that all other patients were also paying cash and not getting receipts. I told Tariks assistant that I wanted receipts for the 17 sessions I had done and he told me that he would give me those receipts if I would pay the PKR 7,000 that Tarik had already agreed to waive.
I told him that Tarik had already waived that amount and that I was entitled to receipts but his assistant Sohail refused to provide me with receipts until I paid PKR 7,000 more. I didn’t think it was worth my time to pursue these characters any further but I do intend to report him to the FBR and I am posting this information online for anyone thinking of going to him…DO NOT DO SO! Go to Ziauddin, OMI, Aga Khan or any reputable hospital where they will not lie to you, they will do their utmost to get you better sooner rather than make maximum money off your suffering and they also will give you a receipt..which indicates that they pay their taxes.
After I shared my story with some of my friends I learned that a friend of a friend who is a female from a well known business family of Karachi also visited him for pain she was having in her back. Apparently Tarik Bokhari asked her to remove her clothes and he used a marker to draw things on her body to explain to her the human anatomy. She realized after he was done that there was no justifiable reason for him to ask her to remove her clothes. She felt terribly embarrassed by the incident and also decided that this man is a fraud and she would never visit him again.
After everything I went through with Tarik Bokhari I decided to look up Life College of Chiropractic. I found entire websites put up by former students who told of the fraud that this college promotes. Here is one such link (and you will find many) - http://www.chirobase.org/03Edu/botnick.html As you can see, even his educational Alma Mater is doubtful at best. Prior to academic life at Life College, Tarik Bokhari studied at Dow Medical College although he has not put up any of his academic credentials from Dow on the wall as he has done with his credentials from Life College. The entire wall of his “clinic” is covered with certificates from the same one college…this gives the impression to patients that he has a great deal of qualifications but in fact it’s the same institution with many certificates to make it look like a lot. I also mentioned to Tarik Bokhari about a certain Atif Siddiqi whom I heard about on the internet…he is also a graduate of Life College of Chiropractic Studies and runs a clinic in New York where he claims he is able to reverse Scoliosis in patients. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Tarik Bokhari’s response was, “that is a fraud”. I found it ironic that he would respond instantly with that remark and I particularly pointed out to him that Atif Siddiqi was also a graduate of Life….apparently such unscrupulous practices are common with graduates of this “institution” and Tarik Bokhari has no problem pointing that out when its someone else.
In summary, Tarik Bokhari is a totally unscrupulous and fraudulent mal-practitioner of the health profession. Even if your company or the government is paying for your treatment, you want to get better soon and not be lied to by someone you think is a doctor…I would advise that you avoid Tarik Bokhari.
It is not directly relevant to all of the above but I also found out from Tarik Bokhari’s domestic servants that he has two driveways where he parks his cars. One if the driveway all the patients can see because that is where they enter from, but the other one is right next door since he’s built a wall to hide the Land Cruiser and the Hummer parked there. It’s a narrow alley which has been spliced away from the main plot presumably to hide the fact that he’s got such vehicles in addition to the several cars he has in this “public” driveway. In Pakistan its relatively easy to cheat people, not pay your taxes and live a good life…that is exactly what Tarik Bokhari is doing.