Man pleads guilty of impersonating a doctor

26/09/2012

A former asylum seeker from Afghanistan who embellished and lied about his medical qualification and his employment history has today been sentenced to 15 months imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court for pretending to be a qualified doctor.

Abdul Waheed Pirzada, aged 50, arrived in the UK in 2001 as an asylum seeker from Afghanistan. He was refused asylum but was subsequently permitted to remain indefinitely in the UK and he would later become a naturalised British Citizen. 

Wendy Bounds, Complex Casework Lawyer from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Abdul Pirzada misrepresented his qualifications and experience, and persuaded GP practices in Birmingham to employ him as a healthcare assistant, a physician's assistant and as a locum GP.

"Within months of arriving in the UK he had joined the BMA as a refugee member, claiming to be a qualified doctor and to have some specialist clinical experience. This allowed him to access on-line courses and support which gave him a spurious and superficial air of legitimacy.

"His deception came to light when a pharmacist queried a prescription he had written as his name did not appear on the NHS approved list which contains the names of accredited doctors who are allowed to work for the NHS.

"Following his arrest, the police carried out a detailed investigation with the assistance of the General Medical Council (GMC). The outcome of this investigation was that Pirzada has never at any stage applied to the GMC for registration as a doctor. All doctors are also obliged to have professional indemnity insurance for patient protection, but Pirzada had no such insurance, thus putting his patients at further risk. 

"Although patients attending the surgery put their trust in the fact they thought they were being treated by a qualified doctor, fortunately the deception came to light before any patient suffered any lasting harm."

Abdul Pirzada pleaded guilty on 26 April 2012 at Birmingham Crown Court to two counts of fraud and one of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception.