Fake doctor arrested from PIMS

Hospital announces inquiry into incident, says he was paid by two doctors to cover for their night shifts

Arsalan Altaf/Qadeer Tanoli September 27, 2018

In a startling development, police have apprehended a man at the capital’s largest tertiary care hospital who has no medical qualifications but has been working in the facility at night stitching up the injured and prescribing medicines to patients.

Officials said that they had caught Fida Hussain masquerading as a doctor in the plastic surgery department of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) late on Tuesday night.

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Pims Executive Director Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood told The Express Tribune that Hussain was detained and handed over to the Karachi Company police and a case of impersonation and cheating was lodged against him.

Interestingly, when police questioned Hussain in front of Pims officials, he claimed that he was being paid by two doctors of the hospital to cover for them during the night shifts in the plastic surgery department.

The suspect, who the officials say has no link with the hospital, has apparently been working there for many months and was allegedly paid between Rs400 to Rs500 per night by two post-graduate students, Dr Muhammad Hassan Khan and Dr Uzair Khan. The two students have been suspended from their training for six months and an inquiry has been ordered into the matter.

“This act of the students is against the ethics of the profession. Therefore, both the postgraduates may be suspended for a period of six months from the training,” read a directive issued by the Pims executive director on Wednesday.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Mahmood attributed the fraud to the presence of a ‘mafia’.

“He is a [pharmaceutical] vendors’ agent who benefits them by prescribing their medicines and equipment, Dr Mehmood disclosed, adding, “He has no qualifications but was stitching patients in the surgery department.”

Fearing that there could be more such fake doctors working at the hospital, he asserted that he would act against this ‘group’.

He further added that all those doctors who are found to have been abstaining from their duties for months will be taken to task.

In this regard, he said that they had formed an inquiry committee comprising General Surgery Head Professor Tanvir Khaliq, Plastic Surgery Associate Professor Dr Abdul Khaliq, and Outpatient Department (OPD) Director Dr Amir Maqbool. They have been directed to submit a report to the executive director within three days.

In the application submitted to the police, the hospital administration maintained that Hussain had no link with the hospital and that he was working there as a doctor involved in the ‘illegal business of medicines’.

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The complaint further added that there had been complaints of selling fake medicines and equipment against the suspect in the past as well.

Moreover, the hospital said that Hussain was at one point enrolled in the Pims College of Medical Technology (CMT) as an operation theatre (OT) technician but was expelled in 2016 owing to ‘dubious activities’.  “The culprit was found engaged in different unauthorised activities at Pims and, according to one doctor, he was also posing as a doctor at the medical facility,” the statement said. The hospital said that the police will now investigate the suspect and identify the doctors who had permitted him to work at the facility.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2018.


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