London (CNN)Up to 3,000 foreign doctors in the UK are having their backgrounds checked after it emerged that a fake psychiatrist with no qualifications was allowed to practice for over 22 years.
Fake psychiatrist prompts UK investigation of 3,000 foreign doctors
Zholia Alemi was jailed for fraud in October after she changed an elderly client's will to make herself a beneficiary. Following that, it was discovered that when she first registered in Britain in 1995 Alemi had conned medical bodies into believing she had a qualification from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
The General Medical Council (GMC) has now launched an investigation into thousands of UK-based doctors who registered for UK licenses in the same way as Alemi, Britain's Press Association (PA) reported.
The body, which determines whether doctors are qualified to practice in the UK, admitted its checks were "inadequate" in the 1990s and apologized "for any risk arising to patients as a result."
"Patients deserve good care from appropriately qualified professionals and place a great deal of trust in doctors. To exploit that trust and the respected name of the profession is abhorrent," the GMC's chief executive, Charlie Massey, said in a statement.
"Our processes are far stronger now, with ri