An alleged impostor doctor used fake documents, including one from the medical watchdog, when he fought for a release without conviction for driving.
Yuvaraj Krishnan is being investigated by the police for allegedly using false documents to get a job at South Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital.
Things can now reveal that during a hearing in the Auckland High Court in 2021, Krishnan, aged 30, argued that if he was found guilty of reckless driving and failing to stop in relation to an incident in October 2020, it could harm his medical career.
At the time, he was employed by the Auckland District Health Board.
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Among the documents he provided in support of his request for release without conviction was a letter purporting to be from the Medical Council of New Zealand, which stated that he had passed his medical examinations and that he was eligible to apply for full registration to practice as a physician in New Zealand.
However, on Friday the Medical Council said Krishnan had not taken or passed the New Zealand entrance exam and “the council did not provide a letter to the court about this”.
“The issues you raise relate to the New Zealand Police and the Council is working with the police to provide clarity on the extent to which Mr Krishnan may have used material claiming to be from the Council,” a spokesperson said.
Krishnan also produced a supposed letter from James Worthy, a clinic director at DHB, which said that if Krishnan were convicted, he could no longer be employed in the public health unit, the Covid-19 unit or the unit. infectious.
Worthy also said the DHB could not provide him with a referral.
“We will have to seriously consider a termination of his contract under the individual employment contract in accordance with the agreement to maintain the integrity of a healthcare professional working with the Covid-19 unit,” he said. he declares.
On Friday, Te Whatu Ora Te Toka Tumai Auckland (formerly Auckland District Health Board) Chief Medical Officer Margeret Wilsher said there was no record of anyone with the name James Worthy working for the health board.
Annie Talakai, Krishnan’s 2021 High Court barrister, said she had “nothing further to add” when contacted on Friday.
Krishnan was employed at Middlemore Hospital in February in a clinical research position by Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau (formerly County Manukau District Health Board). He was removed from his post on August 1 after concerns were raised about his registration and his employment was “terminated” on August 10.
A spokesperson on Friday confirmed that Krishnan worked at Te Whatu Ora Te Toka Tumai Auckland from December 2020 to February 2022.
“During this period, the individual performed a non-clinical role under supervision. The role had no patient contact and did not require a certificate of practice.
He had never worked as a doctor or medical student for the agency.
Things understands that Krishnan worked at Greenlane Medical Center on a Covid-19 contract search team, calling high-risk people in isolation with the virus.
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Krishnan’s qualifications, or lack thereof, are now under police investigation. Earlier this week, the University of Auckland confirmed that Krishnan did not graduate and had never been enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB).
The University of Sydney said in an email that he graduated in September 2016 with a Bachelor of Science – a three-year undergraduate degree.
It is unclear whether Krishnan continued to receive medical training overseas, but the University of Otago – home to New Zealand’s only other medical school – also confirmed there was no record of his diploma.
In an email to staff on Friday, disclosed to ThingsAuckland Regional Health Service chief executive Jane McEntree said many people have reportedly worked alongside Krishnan and news of his alleged deception “may be upsetting to some staff”.
“I want to reassure the staff that he had a non-clinical role here and we are satisfied that he did not perform any part of the role of a military doctor or act beyond his tracer duties. of contact.
“We also reviewed our internal records and our recruitment and vetting processes and are satisfied that they were followed correctly.”
A source said Krishnan, who ‘seemed like the nicest person’, told colleagues at Greenlane Medical Center that he studied medicine in Boston in the US and worked as a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital before leaving. returning to New Zealand due to Covid-19.
He often said he was waiting for his doctor’s registration to be approved to practice in New Zealand.
The source said they now doubt any of this is true.
“This is a blow to all physicians who struggle to gain patient trust when trying to provide best practice care.”
The source said they were concerned Krishnan may have provided misleading or false advice over the phone to vulnerable people suffering from Covid while working at the contact tracing centre.
Krishnan was charged with negligently operating a vehicle and failing to stop or notice injury in 2020. He was convicted and acquitted by Judge Nevin Dawson.
In the district court, Krishnan said he was about to study for his final exams to become a doctor.
Krishnan then appealed to the Auckland High Court, where Judge Christian Whata granted him a discharge without conviction.
“I consider that Mr Krishnan should be released without conviction. In the present circumstances, the sentence is totally disproportionate to the offence,” Judge Whata said.
The High Court judgment said Krishnan was employed by the Auckland District Health Board in its Covid-19 response unit.
The judgment referenced the letters from the Medical Council and Worthy.
Krishnan expressed concern about how the conviction could impact his eligibility to practice medicine in New Zealand and his ability to train in the United States.
He also produced a letter, supposedly from Dr. Tomasz Rogula, professor of surgery at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, who said Krishnan was a potential candidate to continue his training in infectious disease research. in 2022. Stuff attempts to verify the legitimacy of this letter. .
Judge Whata agreed that Krishnan should be released without conviction as there was evidence that “the black mark of conviction remains significant”.
When contacted for comment, Krishnan claimed his name was ‘Steve Singh’ and he did not know the alleged impostor doctor.
The Health and Disability Commission said on Friday morning that it had not received any complaints about Krishnan at this stage.