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Herald Sun
Suspended jail sentence for psychiatrist who defrauded WorkCover
Rebecca David
Dandenong Leader
December 19, 2014

Psychiatrist Pralay Mazumdar

Psychiatrist Pralay Mazumdar

A PSYCHIATRIST who told a patient she was sicker than she was to prolong her hospital stay has received a six-month suspended sentence.

Pralay Mazumdar, 60, pleaded guilty to six charges under the Accident Compensation Act relating to dealings with patients at a Dandenong clinic between March 5, 2012, and September 9, 2013.

The Glen Waverley man’s charges included fraudulently obtaining payments, knowingly providing false information and providing false information.

Ringwood Magistrates’ Court this month heard Mazumdar, while dealing with Victorian WorkCover Authority clients at St John of God Pinelodge Clinic, overstated the length of his consultations on 114 occasions allowing him to fraudulently obtain $24,341.

He also claimed more than $13,700 to which he was not entitled for 37 consultations, and misled WorkCover agents regarding the health of four inpatients.

In one instance, the accused extended an inpatient’s stay longer than necessary and received $1519 as a result.

Mazumdar was sentenced to six months in jail, wholly suspended for nine months, fined $5000 and ordered to pay restitution of $44,539 to WorkCover, plus another $3677 in legal costs.

Having provided psychiatric services to WorkCover clients since 1998, he began operating at the St John of God Pinelodge Clinic in 2009.

The court heard that clinic staff were not complicit in Mazumdar’s offending.

He remains a registered psychiatrist.

Outside court, the WorkCover’s executive director of insurance Clare Amies said it was the first time they had prosecuted a psychiatrist.

“It is extremely disappointing that a trusted medical practitioner has misrepresented the state of his patients’ mental health for personal gain,” Ms Amies said.

She said the vast majority of medical practitioners worked hard to ensure injured workers received the best care during their recovery.

“However, it is important that we continue to identify and prosecute those who do the wrong thing by the scheme, injured workers and employers.”