Phantom Patients Net GPs Millions: How Dishonest Doctors Claim NHS Cash for Dead Patients and Non-Existent Treatments

Neil Sears et al., Daily Mail (London), September 10, 2011

Dishonest GPs are defrauding the taxpayer of millions of pounds by claiming money for ‘ghost patients’.

Some family doctors are retaining the details of patients who have died or left the country so they still receive annual NHS payments of up to £100 for every person registered with them.

In a separate scam, there is evidence of surgeries inserting bogus information on genuine medical records to claim vast sums of NHS cash for check-ups that never take place.

One investigation suggested there could be as many as 3.5million ‘ghost patients’ at surgeries in England–many of whom have been dead for up to 20 years. Now the Audit Commission has launched a fresh probe aimed at lifting the lid on illicit practices feared to cost the taxpayer more than £100million a year.

The spotlight has been thrown on the fraud after four doctors were suspended over allegations they earned millions by claiming to treat more than a thousand people who were overseas or had died.

The doctors claimed to have 8,150 patients on their books–but the General Medical Council and NHS fraud specialists have launched inquiries into claims that up to 3,000 of those were either non-existent, or genuine but with false information on their records.

In addition, some patients at the practice, in South London, were falsely recorded as suffering from dementia or obesity, or as having been given drugs or flu vaccinations they had not had.

By inserting these false records, the GPs would have been able to boost their income by claiming extra payments for carrying out check-ups which were incentivised under Labour’s controversial Quality and Outcome Framework.

The deception could have endangered lives and also affected patients’ life insurance policies.

Every patient on the practice register is now being called in for a health check to ensure records are accurate.

Investigators believe the fraud is just the tip of the iceberg. A previous report by the Audit Commission, in 2004, warned that the NHS could be wasting £100million a year paying surgeries for patients who don’t exist.

The latest scandal focuses on the Streatham Place Surgery in Streatham, South London, which was run by husband and wife GPs Arun, 70, and Jayanti Singh, 67, and their employees Dr Vinodray Patel and Dr Nusrat Mazhar.

An NHS report into the practice, seen by the Daily Mail, said patient safety could not be guaranteed and that the system of record-keeping was ‘inherently unsafe’.

In just one sample of patients, the investigation found one who was dead and others who had moved to Ireland and India. A further two had been recorded as having flu jabs despite being ‘probably abroad on a long-term basis’.

In January the local health body, NHS Lambeth, was given a tip-off about fraud at the surgery. It was suggested that the practice attracted many patients from the Indian High Commission, yet when they moved on to new postings their names allegedly stayed on the surgery list.

Additional money was earned, it was claimed, by pretending that patients were being monitored for chronic diseases. Others were left on the register after hospitals sent letters saying they were dead.

Last night Dr Jayanti Singh spoke only briefly at her £1.25million detached home.

She said: ‘The investigation which has been going on has not been proved. We have actually resigned our contract to run the practice.’

Asked whether more than 1,000 of her patients lived overseas, and others were dead, she said: ‘No, no, no.’

The GMC confirmed it was investigating the four doctors and that they had been suspended for 18 months. If evidence of fraud is found, criminal proceedings leading to jail sentences could follow. The doctors could also be struck off.

Last night, Dr Laurence Buckman, of the British Medical Association, said: ‘I am amazed that this could take place for so long. If these GPs have been keeping patients’ records when they shouldn’t be, then it is fraud.’

The pay of GPs has soared since the introduction by Labour in 2004 of a ‘bungled’ new contract. Many are now on salaries in excess of £250,000.

Doctors.jpg

Doctors Jayanti and Arun Singh

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  • gary

    Indians are smart talented people. They are also fraudsters.If you allow them a foothold in your society, you will get what they have in India: Corruption, total and complete. You cannot seperate the talented from the fraud. Its their DNA. They cannot escape it as we cannot escape ours.

  • Anonymous

    Ghost patients? Indians have been well known for these frauds for centuries. The Indian armies and police forces have thousands of ghosts. They don’t exist, but they get paychecks, uniforms and food that goes right into the bank accounts of the officers.

    India and Pakistan are both well known for ghost schools. The provincial and national goverments send millions per year to rural schools which do not exist. The administrators of these non existent schools pocket all the money.

    Import India with all its rich diversity and culture.

  • Anonymous

    Some women should buy the long length rather than the short length sari blouses.

  • Northern Thunder

    More of Sureesh’s kinfolk. Yes, Indians really are the model minority. Model of their Third World upbringing and intellect, that is. What the hell did England expect? Import large numbers of Third Worlders and you become Third World. Can’t wait until they are all forced back to their ancestral cesspits. Why is it that only what people seem to have any sense of right and wrong?

  • Deirdre

    Scam artists who should be forced to pay back every cent. Meanwhile, she should put on a burkha over that midriff – have we no rights left at all?

  • Anonymous

    The Indian doctors I have seen in the USA simply scare me. They are typically rude beyond belief, and don’t seem to know or care what a patient is…

  • SKIP

    “If evidence of fraud is found, criminal proceedings leading to jail sentences could follow. The doctors could also be struck off”

    AS IF! they will stick around to see if they are found to be culpable of these frauds, WHICH of course they are being red dot Indians and all. They will most likely, stick around just long enough to do some more damage and then head back to India OR the U.S. and open shop again.

  • Legal Eagle

    I have posted numerous times regarding Indian corruption, and I will not revisit the issue here. But this is not an aberration; corruption is the norm for Indian professionals. “Gaming the system” is expected in the Indian community, and the few that get caught represent only a tiny fraction of all perpetrators. I have a friend that has practiced worker’s compensation defense for 20 years. Based on his experiences reviewing the records and testimony of Indian doctors, he says he would never go to one under any circumstances.

  • The Bobster

    Here’s another current story about the “model minority”. Hey, where’s Jugdesh? (Crickets chirping)

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2011/09/13/2011-09-13_former_teacher_busted_for_molesting_young_boy_for_more_than_two_years_.html

    Former teacher busted for molesting young boy for more than two years

    BY Kevin Deutsch, Rachel Monahan and Mike Jaccarino

    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

    Originally Published:Tuesday, September 13th 2011, 9:16 PM

    Updated: Wednesday, September 14th 2011, 1:00 AM

    A former Bronx public school teacher was arrested Tuesday on charges of molesting a young boy for more than two years in a grade school classroom.

    Cops busted Tulsie Singh, 35, at his E.239th St. home in the Bronx on charges of sexual conduct against a child and endangering the welfare of a child, according to court documents.

    The abuse took place from 2004 to 2007 – beginning when the child was 8 and ending when he was 11. The victim is now 15, according to court documents.

    Sources said his family only recently reported the abuse to cops, who are investigating whether other children were abused.

    The child was a student at Public School 306X, and the alleged abuse took place inside a classroom after school.

    Singh is accused of rubbing against the child’s buttocks, as well as touching and kissing him, according to court records.

    “It’s totally untrue. Go and get your statement correct. You’re crazy,” said a relative at Singh’s residence.

    Singh started teaching at the W. Tremont Ave. school in 2000, according to the Department of Education. He was reassigned several times to unspecified posts because of “incidents,” a DOE spokeswoman said.

    DOE “100%” knew about the allegations against the teacher, sources said.

  • Anonymous

    I told you so…. And there is a lot more of it going on via personal injury and Workmen’s Compensation/Labor and Industries frauds. Most of it is being done by or with minorities. I was a personal witness to one big scam in CA, which was the final straw for me. I quit the clinic and left the state. A huge amount of it goes on wherever there are concentrations of immigrants and “minorities.” But they’ll trot out a case about a white firefighter or some such when the MSM talks about it.

  • s.l

    I can guarantee that the Indians are not as bad as the Armenians in So Cal. They are always caught committing Medicare Fraud.

  • Anonymous

    A russian israeli immigrant MD pulled off the largest medical fraud in history in S. California. He stole more than one billion dollars in just one year.

    His medical degree turned out to be fraudulent. The majority of med students in California are immigrants from the most corrupt countries in the world. As the older Drs retire, these will be the only Drs left in California.

  • Anonymous

    NEVER go to a foreign-born dentist. LOTS of them of completely crooked. Not only will they drill and fill your teeth that don’t need any drilling and filling, they will CLAIM to the insurance company to have done root canals and crowns that they have not done. Years from now, when you go to the dentist and actually NEED a root canal and crown on a particular tooth, YOU and your CURRENT dentist will be accused of fraud by the insurance company, because the records will show that the work was already completed.

    A huge percentage of medical and dental students in the USA are now foreigners. In the future, as white doctors and dentists retire, it is going to be tougher and tougher to avoid these people.

    By the way, has anybody ever noticed that Sureesh never posts in the threads that highlight the Indian dishonesty and corruption problem? He never gets tired of posting on threads dealing with education, where he advocates for opening the immigration floodgates even wider to let in “high-IQ Asians,” but he is oh-so-quiet when his countryman are caught using their diplomas and professional licenses to rip off people in their “adopted country.”

  • SKIP

    ” In the future, as white doctors and dentists retire”

    Personally, I don’t think they will be retiring as much as QUITTING due to the overtly hostile government restrictions, insurance and push to do more for minorities whether they can pay or not!

  • Lost World

    As an Indian myself, I don’t know why Indians do this. I really don’t. Especially doctors. It’s repugnant, unethical and downright scary. Mind you, I’m not *surprised*…most doctors I know are crazy about power, money, and prestige. It’s a very real meal ticket in India, but oh, the horror.

    I can’t even imagine what doctors like these would do to a live patient. Probably send them home dead.

    I’ve stopped going to doctors.

  • Anonymous

    In India, some ob-gyns perform needless Caesarians on their patients who don’t need them, so that they can profit out of the deliveries.

    In fact, for some of these professionals, the Caesarian rates can be upwards of 90% of their patients.

    However, this is not to say that Indians are unique in this regard. A lot of East European doctors in the US are also known for various types of medical insurance fraud.

    One notorious dentist from former E. Germany practicing in the SF Bay area had even billed two insurance companies covering one of his patients for the same procedure when the latter had just changed jobs.