Advice to patients about unregistered person who was presenting themselves as a doctor at Werribee clinic

14 Mar 2017

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is investigating an unregistered person who may have consulted with patients from January 2013 to October 2016 from a clinic in Werribee.

The unregistered person, Ms Phoebe Pacheco, may have seen patients to provide medical care at Werribee Cosmetic Clinic (Suite 1, 3 Synnot Street, Werribee). Ms Pacheco is not a registered medical practitioner in Australia.

Anyone who may have seen Ms Pacheco as a patient is urged to consult a registered medical practitioner about their health or treatment.

AHPRA has advised the Department of Health and Human Services of this matter and has provided them with contact details of 145 patients taken from the medical records at the practice. The department has written to these patients as a purely precautionary measure.

AHPRA believes more patients may have also seen Ms Pacheco, but the precise contact details of these people are not yet known. The patients are urged to contact AHPRA or the Department with any questions and to consult with a registered medical practitioner.

To become and remain registered in Australia, medical practitioners must meet very high national requirements. It is an offence under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to present yourself as being a registered health practitioner when you are not.

AHPRA Executive Director of Strategy and Policy, Mr Chris Robertson, said anyone with concerns that someone has been pretending to be a registered medical practitioner when they are not, should contact AHPRA.

‘It’s important that patients know that when they see a registered practitioner, they are seeing someone who has met high, national standards and are held to account if they deviate from them’, he said.

‘This same assurance cannot be provided by someone who is not registered’, said Mr Robertson.

AHPRA is not able to provide more details about the matter, which is still under investigation.

  • To find out if a practitioner is registered, patients can search the online Register of practitioners. The registered is online searchable database listing all registered practitioner in Australia across all the regulated health professions.
  • Questions about the registration of medical practitioners and AHPRA’s role should be directed to AHPRA on 1300 419 495.
  • Patients can also call DHHS for any further advice. Patients can call 1300 651 160 during office hours.

For more information

Download a PDF of this Media release - Advice to patients about unregistered person who was presenting themselves as a doctor at Werribee clinic - 14 March 2017 (161 KB,PDF)

Page reviewed 14/03/2017