Chun Ooi, 31, a Malaysian national, was caught out when he fell asleep during a night shift and the professor supervising his research work said he had not seen him for six months
A doctor conned a Welsh health board out of more than £55,000 by working dozens of locum shifts instead of doing the full-time work he was being paid for.
Chun Ooi, 31, was caught out when he fell asleep during a night shift and the professor supervising his research work said he had not seem him for six months.
Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court, prosecutor Nigel Fryer said the defendant was ‘doubling up’.
The court heard Ooi, a Malaysian national, started working for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board in February 2016.
Prosecutors said he was given a two-year clinical and research fellowship, with equal weight given to clinical work and research work.
The defendant was given his terms of employment before he started and they clearly set out his contracted hours, the court heard.
Mr Fryer said: ‘Quite simply, he disregarded the terms and failed to undertake the research.’
Prosecutors said Ooi completed more than 100 locum shifts, paid at an hourly rate, when he should have been doing research.
The court heard he was found asleep during a night shift in October 2016 and admitted he had been working additional shifts within the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
Mr Fryer said: ‘His supervising professor was contacted and said the defendant had not been seen for six months.’
He added: ‘He was expressly told not to undertake any further shifts.’
Prosecutors said Ooi did 117 locum shifts, paid at around £60 an hour, between February and September 2016.
Prosecutors said Ooi completed more than 100 locum shifts, paid at an hourly rate, when he should have been doing research. He is pictured left leaving Cardiff Crown Court (right) after sentencing
The court heard he was found asleep during a night shift in October 2016 and admitted he had been working additional shifts within the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff (pictured)
The court heard the total loss to the health board was more than £55,000.
When he was interviewed, the defendant accepted he had not done his research, instead working as a locum and being paid twice.
He suggested he was saving the NHS money – an assertion prosecutors described as ‘bizarre’.
Ooi said no-one had raised any concerns, so he did not think there were any problems and he offered to repay the money.
Ooi was ordered to pay £55,785.83 in compensation to the health board, along with £2,000 towards prosecution costs
Prosecutors argued aggravating features included the fact there was an abuse of responsibility.
Mr Fryer said there was a ‘serious detrimental effect’ on the NHS in Wales, adding that it was the sort of behaviour that ‘damages the system’.
Ooi, a qualified doctor from Birchwood Gardens in Cardiff, admitted fraud.
Derrick Gooden, defending, said his client wanted to do more practical work, but accepted he should have approached the situation differently.
He said the defendant carried on for six months without being ‘brought to task’ and did not think he was doing anything wrong.
The court heard Ooi will repay ‘every single penny’. Mr Gooden said his client’s visa expired last month and he is no longer entitled to live in the UK, so intends to return to Malaysia.
Ooi, who has no previous convictions, will have his case reviewed by the General Medical Council.
Recorder Richard Williams described the fraud as ‘a most serious matter’.
He told the defendant: ‘You have thrown away a career in medicine in the UK.’
Ooi was ordered to pay £55,785.83 in compensation to the health board, along with £2,000 towards prosecution costs.
He was given an eight-month jail term, suspended for six months. The judge did not impose any community requirements due to his immigration status.
A spokesman for the health board said: ‘Fraud against the NHS in Wales will not be tolerated.
‘Any fraud against the NHS deprives the service of valuable funds and will be prosecuted whenever appropriate.’