NHS could ‘quite possibly’ face litigation over fake psychiatrist, says doctor

NHS could ‘quite possibly’ face litigation over fake psychiatrist, says doctor

Monday, November 19, 2018

Dr Mike Smith has said that it was “quite possible” that the NHS could face litigation after a woman faked qualifications and was allowed to practice as a psychiatrist for 22 years.

Urgent checks are being made on up to 3,000 foreign doctors after Zholia Alemi was revealed as a fake.

She claimed she had a primary medical qualification when she first registered in the UK in 1995.

Dr Smith told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “It is quite possible if there is somebody who has been treated feels that they have been badly done by.”

He added: “It is most surprising that someone who has only done and failed the first year of medical school wasn’t whistle-blown.

“It is hard to believe. I am sure the General Medical Council will look in great detail at the other 3,000 from some commonwealth countries who were able to do this before 2002.

“Now it is a lot more strict.”


A profession in 'high regard' 

Dr Smith said that the “high regard” the medical profession is held in, could be a reason for people to fake qualifications.

“It is a profession that is held in high regard, in comparison to some other jobs,” he said.

“It is still something that someone looks up to because of all they have to go through to get qualified.”

Alemi's claim to have a degree from the University of Auckland in New Zealand was fraudulent.

She was later jailed for fraud in October this year after she took advantage of an elderly patient, changing her will to make herself a beneficiary.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has apologised for "inadequate" checks made in the 1990s and for "any risk arising to patients as a result".

Alemi's deception has now triggered an urgent investigation and checks on the licences of potentially thousands of other doctors.