Sunday, 18 September 2011

“Come on, we can have a beer at our clinic,” suggested Dr Vinod Raina. He had plenty of reason to celebrate.

Moments earlier Raina had pocketed 41,450 rupees (£550), his fee for providing nine fake medical reports that could have allowed the patient to make false claims on his medical insurance.

Raina, who scribbled out the falsified papers as our undercover reporter watched, is one of a succession of doctors exposed by a Sunday Times investigation into the secret trade in forged medical documents costing the insurance industry millions of pounds.

Another is Dr Deepak Solanki, a dentist who operates from a clinic in Palam, close to Delhi’s international airport. Last week he handed over documents falsely detailing how our reporter had been hospitalised for six days — three in intensive care — after contracting dengue fever, an infectious tropical disease sweeping the Indian subcontinent.

He claimed the medical notes, bearing the letterhead of Indraprastha Apollo, a private hospital, had been signed by a senior doctor. Reading from the report, he said: “It’s from Apollo hospital. You were admitted on the 20th. You had a lot of fever, chills and vomited once. You had a rash ... tests were advised.”

He added: “You had dengue shock syndrome. Date of admission 22nd, date of discharge 27th ... You were in ICU for a couple of days.”

The document, bearing the name of an alleged hospital consultant, was accompanied by a hospital invoice for 130,700 rupees (£1,800) that could have been reclaimed from insurers. As he handed us the paperwork, Solanki said: “There will be no problem. It’s signed and has the hospital stamp.”

A few cases have come to court. They include the successful prosecution of Sharanjit and Geta Gill who were each jailed for two years in December 2006.

Luton crown court heard how they had tried to defraud insurers out of £600,000 by falsely claiming Sharanjit had died of a heart attack while on holiday in India.

In March this year Rozeena Butt, a businesswoman from Hornchurch in Essex, was jailed after her bid to secure £2.2m from insurers by pretending to have died from dehydration in Pakistan was exposed when officers found her fingerprints on her own death certificate.

She was jailed for 25 months at Southwark crown court after admitting three counts of conspiracy to defraud while her husband, Mohammed Butt, a trainee policeman who helped with the deceit, received a sentence of 18 months. Her niece Nosheen Chughtai was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and given a 51-week sentence suspended for two years.
Source: Sunday Times (£)


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