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Thursday, March 9, 2017

man charged with impersonating a Doctor in New Southwales

Remember that nice number of Illayaraja - Kaattiloru Singakuttiyam’ sung by  SPB ~ that was from ‘Anbukku naan adimai’  starring Rajnikanth and Karate Mani.  Vijayan, the Inspector and Rajini a thief are brothers who get separated in childhood. When they meet in a strange situation Vijayan is thrown out of the train and Rajini lands in the village as inspector impersonating. .. .. but Vijayan’s daughter and wife come in search of Vijayan and are surprised to find Rajni as inspector. .. .. .. Rajni though could impersonate and make villagers happy – would find it difficult to act before the daughter and wife of the person whom he is impersonating !

Impersonation is an oft-repeated theme in movies. Remember the blockbuster ‘ 3 Idiots / Nanban / Snehithudu’, a  film that  distinctively  featured inventions ingenuously made.   When the two friends try finding out the other colleague who was so innovative in their college, comes the turn that a rich Estate owner had in fact utilized their servant to study in guise and his son taking the credits.   Way back in 1980 came the Rajnikant blockbuster ‘Billa’ – storyline featuring a mafia don, who gets fatally wounded in an encounter.  The police plant a decoy, a villager impersonating the don and providing vital clues ~ [though the film ran for many days, I always feel, that naming of the movie  after a cruel criminal was in bad taste].  The film Kathi was about Jeevanandam, a social activist fighting a MNC -  a small time thief swaps position bringing about some good results.  In ‘Naan’ – an young student is caught forging the signature for a friend, the events take an ugly turn, making him turn a killer.  On release, with none to fall back, he decides to go to Chennai in pursuit of a life – the bus meets with an accident – he picks up the certificate of a fellow passenger,  joins  medical college by changing his identity.

Well this is no cinema review – but another  interesting story of impersonation !

Down under they are busy criticizing Virat Kohli for calling Steve Smith a cheat – it was afterall a brain-fade and not intentional cheating says an ex-skipper !  Over there, a  man has been charged with impersonating a doctor after he allegedly stole another man's identity, moved to Australia, and worked in hospitals in NSW for more than a decade.

Shyam Acharya worked for NSW Health as a junior doctor from 2003 to May 2014, at hospitals in Manly, Wyong, Hornsby and Gosford. Authorities allege Mr Acharya took the name of another man in India before he began a new life in Australia, where he registered with the Medical Board of NSW in 2003. He then "used the identity of the doctor to gain employment in the NSW public health system".

The alleged deception was not detected until November 2016, when the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency began investigating him for "falsely holding himself out as a registered medical practitioner". NSW Health was notified shortly afterwards and launched its own investigation, deputy secretary Karen Crawshaw said. Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have also been alerted.

"It is alleged in these proceedings that Mr Acharya appropriated another doctor's name and medical qualifications while living in India and that he used these stolen and other fraudulent documents to gain registration falsely with the Medical Board of NSW."  "The matters currently before the court do not deal with how he was able to enter and leave Australia or how he obtained Australian citizenship in the name of the other doctor." Authorities have been unable to find or contact Mr Acharya, saying his current whereabouts are unknown.

His case was mentioned at Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on Monday, however he did not appear. The matter is due to return to court in early April. The man  has been charged under section 116 of the Health Practitioner National Regulation Law (NSW), which makes it an offence to use a title that could make others believe you are a registered medical professional. If he is convicted, he faces a fine of up to $30,000. NSW Health said Mr Acharya was a junior doctor with limited registration, meaning he was required to work under the supervision of others.

Read again, it states ‘if convicted a fine of upto $30,000.’ – he could be penalized.  We believe greatly in Doctors – there cannot be any trial and error or process testing by unqualified people – but if somebody is able to beat the system and impersonate in a capacity of providing treatment   !!  - one shudders to think of the consequences…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar. 

9th Mar 2017

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