One of New Zealand’s busiest hospitals hired a man with counterfeit documents, and he wasn’t discovered until a colleague realised that he was a bogus university student from ten years prior. Before concerns regarding Yuvaraj Krishnan’s medical credentials were raised, he spent six months working as a doctor at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital. On August 10, he was laid off.
Krishnan showed up before the Manukau District Court on Wednesday, where his attorney, Steve Cullen, pleaded guilty to the allegation of making use of a fake document to take benefits. The charge carries a possible 10-year jail sentence. According to court records, he exploited an annual practising certificate to gain monetary benefit while being aware that the certificate was a forgery.
Krishnan managed outpatient clinics in addition to doing research, according to court records. During his tenure at the hospital, he is thought to have evaluated as many as 80 patients. In New Zealand, doctors are required to possess an up-to-date medical practice certificate.
The agreed statement of facts said that the defendant was only found when a doctor recognised his identity from a prior occurrence in 2012 when he was detected attending the University of Auckland without being admitted into the program. After the incident, the defendant was expelled from the institution for trespassing, having obtained two years of higher education without authorisation.
According to a doctor who was interviewed by Stuff, a New Zealand news outlet, Krishnan was found to have faked a student ID card and done cadaver dissections. Krishnan was remanded in custody on bail by Judge Jane Forrest, and a December sentence date was set. Furthermore, Krishnan has been told to avoid any interaction with Te Whatu Ora employees and to stay in New Zealand. Krishnan is still being investigated by the police.
According to a police official, “No more charges have been filed as of this time, but as we’ve previously stated, we aren’t ruling out additional charges.” According to Stuff, police searched two Auckland houses in August as part of their investigation.
Krishnan worked in Te Whatu Ora Te Toka Tumai Auckland, formerly the Auckland District Health Board, from December 2020 to February 2022 before joining Middlemore. A Te Whatu Ora spokesperson stated, “during this period the individual carried out a non-clinical role under supervision. The role had no patient contact and did not require a practising certificate”.
He is said to have worked in a Covid-19 contact tracing team at Greenlane Medical Centre, phoning high-risk people who were infected with the virus. Krishnan was convicted of two driving offences while working there: negligent operation of a vehicle and failure to stop or establish harm. He was convicted and then released.
He filed an appeal with the High Court in Auckland, though, citing his concerns over how the convictions might affect his ability to practise medicine in New Zealand and pursue medical school in the US.
Krishnan presented the court with two letters to back up his claims—one purportedly from the Medical Council and the other from James Worthy, a clinic manager for the Auckland DHB. The Medical Council and the DHB later claimed, however, that they had not supplied such letters and that James Worthy had not been employed by the DHB. He was discharged without being found guilty.
According to Dr. Andrew Connolly, chief medical officer for Counties Manukau, every patient seen by Krishnan at Middlemore had their care reviewed, and a thorough enquiry revealed that there had been no compromise to any patient’s treatment.
However, an immunocompromised patient of Krishnan’s claimed that her treatment for a severe respiratory ailment had been protracted by months. The woman remarked that she was disappointed and furious. She felt duped and stupid since the doctor had given her so many “false hopes”. She further said that all of his medical advice was useless in its entirety, her life has been squandered for months, and it is worrisome.