'Fake doctor' arrested at one of Zimbabwe's biggest hospitals

Staff at Harare's Parirenyatwa Hospital became suspicious of a doctor and reported him. It was found that during the seven months the fake doctor attended to patients, wrote medical affidavits and issued prescriptions.
Staff at Harare's Parirenyatwa Hospital became suspicious of a doctor and reported him. It was found that during the seven months the fake doctor attended to patients, wrote medical affidavits and issued prescriptions.
Image: 123RF/ TYLER OLSON

A man who posed as a doctor at one of Zimbabwe's biggest hospitals for seven months has been arrested.

The man has been charged with fraud and impersonating a public official.

Admire Chisi, 25, posed as a physician registrar in the accident and emergency department at the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. During the seven months, he attended to patients, wrote medical affidavits and issued prescriptions.

In a statement, the hospital group — which operates the 5,000-bed Parirenyatwa General Hospital in Harare — said it discovered that a fake medical doctor was working in its accident and emergency department.

“On October 20 2020, [the group] discovered that the accident and emergency department had been infiltrated by a fake medical doctor,” the statement read.

“The matter was discovered after our vigilant casualty staff doubted his medical proficiency and made some inquiries. The suspect has been handed over to the police.

“People with malicious intentions can take advantage of the vastness of our hospital and its complex systems to cause various prejudices.”

Zimbabwe’s doctors have been on strike since the beginning of the year over pay and poor conditions, including inadequate personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Aaron Musara of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors' Association said the incident was indicative of broader problems.

“The issue of the man who masqueraded as a doctor for several months is an undoubtable indicator of the breakdown of systems as health-care workers sank deep into incapacitation because of low wages,” he said.

“It is well known that the time this bogus doctor moved in, is that very time when there was a void because doctors and nurses could not report for work daily because of financial incapacitation.

“One can only wish the powers that be would see that delays in attending to genuine grievances, preferring to think there were no problems, bred this.”

TimesLIVE


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