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Patient dies after fake doctor performs surgery at Pakistan hospital

Various medical instruments are shown in this file photo. Pexels

Authorities in Pakistan have charged a former security guard with impersonating a doctor at a hospital in Lahore, after he allegedly performed surgery on an elderly woman who later died.

The victim, 80-year-old Shameema Begum, originally went to the Mayo public hospital to get treatment for boils on her back, according to police. That’s when Muhammad Waheed Butt, a former security guard at the hospital, performed surgery on her and sent her home, officials said.

“The guard has been charged and is in police custody,” Ali Safdar, a Lahore police spokesperson, told the AFP. “Butt had posed as a doctor and made home visits to other patients in the past also.”

Authorities say Butt was a security guard at the hospital until he was fired for trying to extort money from patients two years ago, but he seemingly came back and decided to try his hand at medicine.

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Butt performed surgery on the woman in an operating theatre with a qualified technician present, according to an hospital official who spoke to the AFP on condition of anonymity.

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“We can’t keep up with what every doctor and what everyone is doing at all times. It’s a large hospital,” the official said.

It was not clear what sort of operation was involved, but Butt reportedly accepted payment for his work and for two follow-up visits to the victim’s home.

Begum’s condition deteriorated after the surgery and her family ultimately took her back to the hospital, at which point they discovered the fake doctor’s deception. Begum was still alive when Butt was accused of performing an unnecessary surgery, according to a report from Ary News in Pakistan.

She died on Sunday, the AFP reports. Her body was being held for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

It’s not the first time that impostors have tried to cash in at a public hospital in in the city.

Last month, for example, a man was arrested for posing as a doctor and extorting money from patients at Lahore General Hospital. In another case, a woman posed as a neurosurgeon for several months at Lahore’s Services Hospital in 2016.

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