Sep 06, 2022 News
– Medical Council issues warning
By Tamia Lashley
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Medical Council has issued a warning about an imposter in its fraternity and appealed to members of the public in an advertisement to be on high alert.
According to the advertisement, which was published in this newspaper, the Medical Council said Ms. Kavita Singh, also known as Nanda Gopaul, has been posing as a medical doctor when she is not. The Council said the woman has never sought an application at the Council to practice in the field of medicine.
Using the foregoing pseudonyms, as well as Gita Kissoon, Johana Gray, Juan Singh, and Juan Craig, the woman is said to have a history of scamming countless persons desirous of joining the medical field. As a result, she has had many encounters with the police.
Posing as Kissoon, the first time she was apprehended was back in the year 2009 when she opened a fraudulent school named ‘The Inter-American Nursing School’, which was located at Lot 5 Cummings Street, Georgetown. She had scammed numerous aspiring medical students out of thousands of dollars with the promise of them being accepted into the Ministry of Health, and even getting the opportunity to travel abroad to advance their ‘medical training’ in the USA where she claimed her medical school was legally recognised.
Some students eventually got wind of Kissoon’s fraudulent ways and they had filed a report with police. She was apprehended and placed in custody but was later released on $100,000 bail. The students had demanded refunds the moment she was released since they were worried that she would leave the country without paying up. She would pay them, but not all of the money owed, since she claimed she lacked sufficient funds.
Kissoon, according to reports, would later leave the country after it was established by the Ministry of Health and its Minister at the time, Dr. Ramsammy, that she was a scammer.
In the year 2011, Kissoon would resurface in Guyana and was found, by authorities, committing a similar fraud. On this occasion, several of her students were locked out of her ‘medical university’ after questioning her on the legitimacy of their certificates. Students had told Kaieteur News that they had become suspicious after hearing rumours of Kissoon’s school being illegitimate, and when they confronted her, she answered not a word opting instead to lock them out.
What made the matter more suspicious was that one of the students, when it was nearing graduation, had presented his certificate to a medical institution to seek employment when he was abruptly turned down. Kissoon had kept herself secured in the building when several reporters turned up at her institution to press her for answers. The authorities would later show up and she was taken to the Brickdam Police Station for questioning.
In 2014, Kissoon would once again find herself in hot water as students who had attended her ‘school’ would find out, upon graduating, that the certificate they were given could not land them any job in the medical field. Furious, the students protested outside the Ministry of Education’s Brickdam, Georgetown HeadOffice. They pleaded for the assistance of Government Ministers.
Kissoon, even after being legally classified as a fraudster, would continue intermittently to run her ‘school’ under different names, and continued swindling unsuspecting persons.
At one time her ‘school’ operated under the name ‘Guyana Health Care Education Institute’ and was set up on an upper flat of a building in Robb Street (next to Scotia Bank) and then on Croal Street. Then, students were scammed of about $95,000 individually, which was the total amount they each were required to pay monthly.
To mask her scam, Kissoon had even tried to sue the National Accreditation Council for not granting permission for her school to be recognised as a legal institute, but she failed.
In 2016, Kissoon took things a little further. After the parents of students she tricked into enrolling into her school (this time named ‘North Shore’) yet again, found out her institute was fake and that she had robbed them, they gathered at the Lot 218 Lamaha Street, Georgetown building where they angrily demanded to be refunded. Students who were still in the building at the time would find out why they were angry through a series of texts shared among students. They slowing began leaving the building. However, two students were unable to leave as they were locked inside the building by Kissoon.
Kissoon would continue to hold the students hostage, and refused to open the door despite the pleas of other students and frustrated parents. Police, located in proximity, were called, but would take two hours to arrive. A four-man team arrived after prompted by members of the media who had showed up outside the building. Eventually a ladder was brought and the police were successful in entering the building through a window; arresting Kissoon and rescuing the students in the process.
This time around, the Medical Council, after learning that Kissoon might be involved in a scam again, promptly issued an advertisement informing members of the public that she is not certified to conduct any medical activities in Guyana.
During an interview with Kaieteur News on Monday, Dr. Navindranauth Rambaran, the Chairman of the Medical Council, said that the proactive move was employed after members of the medical fraternity suspected that Kissoon was an imposter. There are reports that she was seen attending to patients at medical outreaches. Efforts were made to ascertain her medical background and it was found that she had none, and that no attempt was ever made for an application to practice in Guyana.
Dr. Rambarran said that although it is not within the remit of the Council to intervene unless a report is first filed of an illegal practice, the Council has nevertheless taken it upon itself to issue a warning as a public service gesture. “The Medical Council is concerned with the registration of medical practitioners in Guyana, so if there is someone who is supposedly practicing medicine, and is not registered with the Council, then that concerns us,” Dr. Rambarran stated. He went on to explain that this was the first time he was made aware of Kissoon’s previous antics, and that no report has ever been lodged about her past conduct. He stated too that he is not aware that the matter has, thus far, been reported to law enforcement officials.
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