A woman is under investigation for allegedly practicing as a doctor in Melbourne despite being unregistered, all but confirming that Australia’s new favourite pastime is pretending to be House, M.D.
Phoebe Pacheco is under scrutiny by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for allegedly holding GP consultations and performing minor procedures at Werribee Cosmetic Clinic between January 2013 and October 2016, despite being unregistered in September 2016.
While there’s no evidence of harm done to individuals – and there’s currently nothing to say the clinic knew about Pacheco’s alleged misconduct – AHPRA has since notified 145 people who may have been seen by Pacheco about the issue, urging them to see an actual, bona fide doctor as a precautionary measure.
Dr Brett Sutton, the state’s acting Chief Health Officer, said it’s important for those individuals to seek legitimate medical advice as “the worst-case scenario is that someone has had a misdiagnosis or inappropriate management advice.”
AHPRA has reportedly made contact with Pacheco, but can’t verify if she’s still in Australia. For what it’s worth, fines for practicing as a doctor while unregistered can reach up to $30,000.
Probs not worth it just to snap on some latex gloves, hey?