Earlier this year, Shyam Acharya was accused of stealing a doctor’s name and medical qualifications while in India before moving to Australia and becoming a registered doctor in New South Wales in 2003. From this time, Mr Acharya worked as a junior doctor at Manly, Hornsby, Wyong and Gosford hospitals for over 10 years without ever being qualified.
Whilst living in India, Mr Acharya elaborately stole the identity and medical qualifications of another Doctor and forged the relevant documentation to get himself registered with the Medical Board of New South Wales. This concerning incident has lead to questions being raised about the processes in place that deal with the registration of Doctors in New South Wales.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA) is the body responsible for regulating health practitioners within Australia. APHRA’s primary role is to protect the public being setting and overseeing the standard and policies that all registered health practitioners must meet.
In the case of Mr Acharya, APHRA was the body that led the investigation which uncovered that he was falsely registered as a medical practitioner. APHRA bought charges against Mr Acharya for using a title that could make others believe that he was a registered medical professional. He has been fined $30,000 but has since believed to have fled the country.
The concerning nature of this case, raises the question of what happens to doctors who fraudulently try to practise medicine. As what transpired in the case of Mr Acharya, APHRA will intervene to the best of their ability when regulating new and existing practitioners.
Apart from APHRA, there is also the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). The HCCC is an independent body which deals with complaints from the public about health service providers in NSW. The HCCC role is to investigate, resolve and even prosecute serious complaints from the public.
Furthermore, if you have been injured whilst a patient at a hospital, medical center or other facility, as a result of treatment by a doctor, or someone posing to be a doctor, then the institution itself may be held vicariously liable for their negligence.
If you have any complaint against a health service provider, you are encouraged to contact the Health Care Complaints Commission.
If you feel that you have negligently treated by a medical practitioner in any circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively make an online enquiry.
Written by Mark Crollos.