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False sick leave certificates

Trades / Industries:

Dr N operates a clinic with many large corporate clients offering medical benefits to their employees.  He is usually busiest on Mondays as many patients from these companies visit him on that day complaining about soreness  in  different  parts  of  the  body.    It  is  obvious  that  after  their escapades over the weekend, the “patients” actually do not like working on Mondays and want one day’s sick leave.


Winnie, the secretary of one of the companies and a regular “patient” of Dr  N,  visited  the  clinic  on  a  Monday  morning.    As  usual,  she  brought imaginary ailments to Dr N to get a day off.   Dr N suggested a “win-win deal” to Winnie that she did not really have to show up at his clinic.   She could simply tell him her complaint over the phone.  Without actually seeing or treating Winnie, Dr N could issue a certificate to certify that Winnie was unfit for work.   He would then claim the consultation fee from Winnie’s company. Dr N further asked Winnie to introduce the scheme to her colleagues.   Being unaware of the plot, Winnie’s company wasted a large amount of medical expenses.

Case Analysis

Dr N would commit an offence of deception as he obtained by deceit consultation  fees  from  Winnie’s  company  by  issuing  false  sick  leave certificates to its staff without conducting any consultation or diagnosis. Moreover, Dr N and those staff joining in the scam would also commit an offence of conspiracy to defraud the company.


Dr  N  might  also  violate  Section  3.1  of  the  Professional  Code  and Conduct issued by the Medical Council of Hong Kong (Nov 2000) which prohibits  doctors  from  signing  untrue  certificates.    The  doctor  would  be subject to disciplinary action for failing to comply.


Dr N not only puts his own career at stake but his misconduct will also undermine public confidence in the medical profession.


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