Fake doctor went undetected for 12 years, possibly treated thousands of patients

A man who pretended to be a doctor for almost 12 years is on the run after authorities pressed charges against him.

Shyam Acharya allegedly stole Dr. Sarang Chitale’s name and medical credentials while living in India . He was able to create a fake passport to move to Australia, and then used the stolen documents to register with the Medical Board of New South Wales. He worked at Manly, Hornsby, Wyong and Gosford Hospitals from 2003 to 2014, under the assumed identity.

Before stealing Dr. Chitale’s identity, the only accreditation that Acharya had received was that of a junior doctor, which in the UK is someone who is a qualified medical practitioner in a postgraduate program. While an investigation into his record as a fake physician turned up no medical issues that he had personally caused, authorities have detected his involvement in a team that botched a procedure ­involving a broken limb.

Acharya left hospital work after New South Wales began implementing the federal AHPRA body’s policy; he only received limited registration each year under this new system. After three years of being unable to satisfy the necessary checks and balances, Acharya lost his right to practice. It is ­believed that he continued his fraud by getting work with a private company where he did not have to deal with patients. Acharya was incredibly proficient at faking his qualifications, and was held in high regard by the peers he duped. (RELATED: Get all the news Google doesn’t want you to see at Censored.news)

Authorities will not specify how Acharya was caught after a decade-long charade, simply saying, “The way he was caught they don’t want that to be published … because they want to be able to, in effect, catch people.” Mr. Acharya has been charged by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency with a breach of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, and faces a fine of up to $30,000.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard says jail time is needed as a penalty in this scandal, and says he believes the current $30,000 fine is “woefully inadequate.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton agrees with Hazzard, and says that the case shows a “big failing of the system,” warning that the consequences could have been “diabolical” if Acharya had posed a national security threat. Both are moot points, as Acharya’s whereabouts are currently unknown, although a search to locate him is underway.

The real Dr. Chitale currently works in the UK, and has found the situation both distressing and shocking.

Sources

9News.com.au

DailyTelegraph.com.au

TheAustralian.com.au

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