Fake psychiatrist prompts UK investigation of 3,000 foreign doctors

Up to 3,000 foreign doctors in the UK are having their backgrounds checked after it emerged that a fake psyc...

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 1:37 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 1:37 PM

Up to 3,000 foreign doctors in the UK are having their backgrounds checked after it emerged that a fake psychiatrist with no qualifications was allowed to practice for over 22 years.

Zholia Alemi was jailed for fraud in October after she changed an elderly client's will to make herself a beneficiary. Following that, it was discovered that when she first registered in Britain in 1995 Alemi had conned medical bodies into believing she had a qualification from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Europe

Health and medical

Health care

Health care professionals

Investigations

Medical fields and specialties

Northern Europe

Physicians and surgeons

Psychiatry

United Kingdom

The General Medical Council (GMC) has now launched an investigation into thousands of UK-based doctors who registered for UK licenses in the same way as Alemi, Britain's Press Association (PA) reported.

The body, which determines whether doctors are qualified to practice in the UK, admitted its checks were "inadequate" in the 1990s and apologized "for any risk arising to patients as a result."

"Patients deserve good care from appropriately qualified professionals and place a great deal of trust in doctors. To exploit that trust and the respected name of the profession is abhorrent," the GMC's chief executive, Charlie Massey, said in a statement.

"Our processes are far stronger now, with rigorous testing in place to ensure those joining the register are fit to work in the UK," he added.

In 1995, Alemi took advantage of a section of the Medical Act, subsequently removed in 2003, that allowed medical graduates from some Commonwealth countries to skip exams and rigorous document checks.

Alemi's decades of deception were uncovered after an investigation by UK regional newspaper the News and Star, following her initial sentencing for fraud and theft in October.

Employed as a consultant psychiatrist in Cumbria, north-west England, Alemi had avoided scrutiny until being investigated by authorities for taking advantage of an elderly patient, altering her will without her approval to make herself a major beneficiary.

She was also found to have stolen a number of the woman's watches and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Alemi was known to the elderly patient as Julia, according to Cumbria Police, who quoted the victim saying: "Julia has drafted a will. Julia has put herself down for everything as I did not tell her I had a family ... but I don't want her having it all."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement: "As the organization responsible for regulating doctors, we expect the GMC to investigate how this criminal was able to register as a doctor and put measures in place to make sure it can't happen again."

West Lafayette
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Kokomo
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 65°
Rensselaer
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Fowler
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Williamsport
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 62°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 60°
Frankfort
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Delphi
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 63°
Monticello
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Logansport
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events