Syam Acharya allegedly impersonated a doctor for more than a decade. Photo: 7 News

A man who used the identity of a British doctor to fraudulently work unchecked in four New South Wales Hospitals in Australia for more than a decade is now allegedly practising in Singapore. A neighbour told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the fake doctor Shyam Acharya who went by the name of Dr Sarang Chitale, left to Singapore five weeks ago.

“I have been doing a lot of back and forth trips to Singapore. I will be back on 31st March,” a text message reportedly sent from Mr Acharya to his neighbours in January read. The neighbour told the news site that he would often travel to Singapore to work in an emergency department as a doctor.

Neighbours said that they had no reason to be suspect he was not qualified and appeared to know what he was doing when he recommended treatment for one of the neighbour’s sick children. The fake doctor who lived in the neighbourhood with his young daughter and wife, was described as a nice person and a good neighbour who kept to himself.

The real Dr Chitale lives and works in the United Kingdom. A branch of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) said it was “shocked” to hear the identity of one of its doctors was allegedly being misused.

Their statement described the real Dr Chitale as a “valued member” of the rheumatology department.

“We were shocked to hear of the deception that had taken place in Australia in Dr Chitale’s name,” the statement read.

Adding: “The General Medical Council is aware of the fraud and has been helping the Australian health authorities with their investigations. We would like to stress that Dr Chitale is very much the victim in this diabolical fraudulent act. The trust is providing Dr Chitale all the support and advice he needs to deal with this very upsetting case of identity theft.”

The Australian authorities are taking punitive actions against the fake doctor to recover the wages paid to him over the decade.