Fake doctors in Australia may soon face jail time

AndreyPopov/ iStock

New South Wales health minster Brad Hazzard wants to change legislation to see fake doctors penalised with jail time.

It follows the discovery of Shyam Acharya, who is accused of working under a fake identity in NSW hospitals from 2003 to 2014.

Acharya allegedly stole the name and medical qualifications of Indian man before moving to Australia.

Since the deception was discovered, he is believed to have left the country as he was due to face prosecution.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Hazzard says the maximum $30,000 fine for his actions is not enough, and those who falsely impersonate medical professionals should be sent to jail.

“I’m horrified that this fellow managed to get into the NSW hospital system,” he said.

“If we can catch this guy he deserves jail and the problem is at the moment that the maximum you can get is $30,000. Greg Hunt and I – and, I would believe the other ministers – are intent on changing this.”

Federal health minister Greg Hunt will work with the states to ensure there are heavy penalties such crimes.

“Impersonating medical professionals is a serious crime and should be treated as such,” Hunt said.

Recruitment processes in NSW have improved since 2011, with personal referees now sought for all overseas doctors.

The SMH has more.

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