Nottinghamshire entrepreneur hits back against ‘lazy and sensationalised’ allegations

Sukhi Ghuman

A Nottinghamshire entrepreneur has hit back at allegations that the buying practices of his US healthcare businesses were irregular and certain chemotherapy that was purchased from India was not licensed to be used in the USA.

Entrepreneur Sukhi Ghuman, has called reports over the weekend in national press “lazy and sensationalised” and has said he is confident of closing off the matter.

Ghuman, speaking exclusively to, is currently taking an extended sabbatical from all businesses while in remission for cancer.

He has returned to the UK after living in Arizona and California for a decade in the Spring of 2023 after being diagonsed with a 4cm cancer tumour on his kidney. Back in San Diego he underwent, a five-and-a-half hour emergency surgery to surgically remove the tumour under the care of his American medical team and thereafter continued his care with the NHS in Nottingham.

While living in the US, Ghuman had built a business of seven healthcare clinics across Arizona and California treating cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, along with other ventures in Arizona/California, where he was predominantly based.

He told us: “The growth was rapid and between 2018 and 2022 I had built a group of clinics. Part of this was driven by my father’s sudden death as a result of cancer in 2012. I had since then worked actively for various cancer charities raising funds and awareness.

“Most of the clinics were in rural and under served areas, where treatment to healthcare was very difficult. One in particular clinic was literally a few miles from the Mexican border. The Tijuana-San Ysidiro border crossing was not only one of the one of the busiest land border crossings in the Western Hemisphere, but also the most dangerous. The South Bay Cancer Centre was the closest private cancer clinic to this border.

“I was an absent owner and my model was to invest in the clinics and/or acquire and leave the clinics to be run by the teams already in place with specialist trained medical doctors/professionals that ordered and administered the treatment. This particular clinic was going for 30 years plus and served many undocumented migrants with no bank account, credit cards, documents, insurance or means to pay – other than cash.”

Ghuman said that he and his team set up a system to treat the large number of patients that were stage 3/4 cancer, for free.

He added: “On average we treated 15 patients a month for free, teaming up with a local charity also for some – called WeSupportU, of which I became chair.

“For those undocumented patients who had cash, we decided to heavily subsidise their treatment. This was a way to give back and something that gave me a lot of satisfaction and to those around me.”

Soon after developing cancer and the subsequent issues/scares with potential spread of the disease, Ghuman said he made the decision for his treatment to continue in the UK. His large, extended Sikh family are all based in the UK. He added: “Cancer doesn’t discriminate and I was aware that any potential spread would mean a potentially swift exit from this world.”

In November, Ghuman was hit, in his words “totally out of the blue”, with allegations that the buying practices of his main clinic in California were irregular and certain chemotherapy that was purchased from India was not licensed to be used in the USA. He was, he said, “dumbfounded and shocked”.

Ghuman says the the success rate of his cancer clinics were amongst the best in their respected regions.

He told “Buying medication from another country does not mean that the medication is incorrect or ‘knock off’ as the disgraceful tabloid report has put it. What it means is that medication is for a different market. There was not a single thing wrong with the medication, which was shipped over correctly by cold chain mail. The lazy, sensationalised tabloid reporting on this matter has left myself, my family and my former USA colleagues dumbfounded. The report also states a number of other totally incorrect facts and attacks on me personally.”

Ghuman says he is dismayed as the clinics were run “diligently” by the cancer doctors and the support teams.

He added: “My intervention was minimum. Having recently checked the buying records, we spent in excess of $35m buying medication from the USA. The existing buying practices of the clinic had utilised an overseas wholesaler to buy certain lines, in particular for those vulnerable that could not afford buying the same product in the USA (which was ten times more expensive for the exact same medication). In the UK the laws are different as this not related to profit and you can purchase from overseas to treat one self.”

What happened next “mortified” Ghuman and his family.

He continued: “Without any proper dialogue bar one single contact with myself via my lawyer, I was hit with a barrage of charges for importation without a license, along with a set of additional Hollywood-style charges. More shocking is that people that worked so diligently and honestly at the practice were also charged, to include former employees and my wife, Kiran Ghuman, [current managing director of Octavian Security UK], who only worked as a part-time bookkeeper!”

Ghuman said that recent reports show that Florida could import medication from Canada as people cannot afford what he calls the “astronomical” cost of healthcare in the USA.

He said: I saw some horrendous examples of people living with illness, disease, mental health, cancer – amongst other illness as they simply could not afford the healthcare. People were crossing the border to Mexico for basic dental treatment, as well as complex medical procedures. It was then that I realised the NHS is a Jewel In the Crown of this country. The USA healthcare system was for only those that could afford it.”

Ghuman said that the episode has reaffirmed his views that the USA is “a difficult place to do business for British Entrepreneurs”.

He added: “These views will not change. In my ten years there, whilst I saw many good things, I also saw many many not so good things. The swing of laws from state to state and the insatiable appetite to keep suing for anything to make money – a business in itself. As a respected partner in Nottingham law firm recently told me – ‘the USA legal system is 50 years behind the UK’.

“I am proud that in my time over there, 500-plus people were treated for free, 500-plus people with mostly stage 3 or stage 4 cancer, that would have otherwise died from this deadly disease, with a success rate of over 90%. This is just those that were treated for free and not those subsidised.

“I am extremely confident that this matter will be closed off but in the interim those wanting to do business in the USA need to heed warning of the extreme litigious nature of the country as well as the draconian laws and differences to that of the UK.”