AMI INSIDER

Reporter: Laura Sparkes

We're inside the engine room of Heartcheck, the Mens Health Clinic and the Prostate Clinic. As a customer reading their aggressive advertising, you might expect, as their business names imply, to visit a medical surgery. But this is the reality - the heart and soul of its business? A simple call centre with employees as young as 18 peddling the services.

"Pretty much they wanted us to con anyone that called up into thinking if they did not book with us they would have a heart attack that afternoon and they'd pretty much drop dead." 18-year-old Michael Abson didn't realise what he was getting into when he accepted a job in this call centre, especially when pages and pages of scripts were thrust at him, scripts for female callers.

"We found that 64 percent of women who died last year did not have any symptoms at all" reads Michael from the scripts.

Scripts aimed at customers calling to cancel.

And scripts for explaining costs...

"If they still persist on a cost amount and they're not based in Melbourne you can say something like the costs range from 200 to 600 dollars" says Michael.

The call centre is hidden upstairs in the non-descript office building. It doesn't look like much but don't be fooled - this business is a money making machine. The overheads are minimal because much of it is run over the phone and scare tactics explained by Michael. Well none of it surprises us, over the years Today Tonight has followed the Mens Health Clinic and Heartcheck, multi million dollar businesses, cashing in on our fears and until recently exploiting the Medicare system. Experts are appalled.

In the case of the Mens Health Clinic which offers treatment for erectile dysfunction, compound drugs not covered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the experts claim the nasal spray and throat lozenges prescribed don't even work, yet customers pay up to $3000 for a years supply!

The man behind the businesses - Jacov Vaisman. Back in the 90s he set up the ON Clinic for erectile dysfunction. The Federal Court injuncted that clinic stopping it from making misleading claims about its treatments. He also ran proctocology centres for haemorrhoids. Today there's the Mens Health Clinics under the company Advanced Medical Institute AMI and call centres for Heartcheck and the prostate clinic. Two years ago another Federal court judgement this time against AMI - the company was guilty of misleading and deceptive advertising for its erectile dysfunction treatments.

Michael has now quit the call centre, unable to live with the burden of selling sickness, particularly to the elderly.

"They were just like I don't know what to do, I don't want to have a heart attack obviously I just want this peace of mind, you felt like saying just go to your GP get it checked out, please don't come to the clinic and waste your money" says Michael.