A bogus doctor who treated patients at her surgery for two years without an operating license or registration, was arrested by Eastern Cape police, together with her assistant, in Molteno in the Chris Hani District Municipality.
The two suspects, aged 40 and 33, were arrested during a joint operation involving Komani crime intelligence officers, the Hawks, the K9 Unit, the visual policing unit, and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).
Police spokesperson Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana said: “The operation followed after information was received from Crime Intelligence in September 2020 that one of the suspects was practicing without a licence and operating as a medical doctor in Molteno.
“The reports further alleged that she was not registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA), but nonetheless was dispensing medication to patients. Reports suggest that the bogus doctor started practicing since [sic] 2018.”
Kinana said investigating officers contacted the HPCSA to verify whether the woman was a registered doctor.
He said the HPCSA stated in a sworn affidavit that the bogus doctor was not on their records.
“Subsequently, an operation dubbed ‘Operation Corona’ was conducted by the integration of role-players which included the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority Unit. Consequently, the two suspects were found doing business in their surgery and were immediately arrested by the police. One of the two suspects, the assistant, is believed to be a boyfriend to the bogus doctor.”
Fraud in society
A large amount of medication worth R700,000, and used and unused needles were discovered, and confiscated from the surgery, said Kinana.
Acting police provincial commissioner Major-General Thembisile Patekile hailed the success of the operation and further expressed concern about the unending degree of fraud and corruption in society.
“As management of the SAPS in the Province, we are on record as having warned people against fraudulent activities on many occasions. Those who are adamant [sic] and believe these are only idle threats, must suffer the consequences of their actions,” said Patekile.
The two suspects, the bogus doctor and her assistant will be charged for Fraud and Contravention of the Medicine Act No 101/1965 and are expected in the Queenstown Magistrate’s Court on Friday.