Swedish doctor who faked Covid-19 travel certificates sentenced to one year in prison

Swedish doctor who faked Covid-19 travel certificates sentenced to one year in prison
PCR tests, like the one shown in this file photo, were carried out but not sent for lab analysis. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
A doctor in Gothenburg has been sentenced to a year in prison for issuing faked travel certificates for people who had been tested for Covid-19.

In Sweden, the PCR tests required before travel to many countries cannot be done through the national healthcare service, so instead travellers must use private clinics.

At the clinic in Gothenburg, a doctor issued certificates saying patients had tested negative, but had actually never sent their samples for laboratory analysis, as the Göteborgs-Posten was first to reveal.

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In June, the doctor responsible was charged with seven counts of fraud, seven counts of gross false certification and two counts of gross forgery.

A district court sentenced him to one year in prison, a more severe penalty than what the prosecutor requested, saying that a high penalty was justified since the man “in his capacity as a doctor, took advantage of the ongoing pandemic for his own gain”.

It is not the only incident of this kind in Sweden, though it is the first to make it to court.

In June, a Stockholm doctor was reported to Swedish Healthcare Inspectorate Ivo by his employer for writing out travel certificates even after people had tested positive for the virus.

And in a separate incident, uncovered first by Expressen and Aftonbladet, a healthcare company was accused of not sending PCR tests for travel certificates to a lab. Around 100,000 people were thought to have been affected by the resulting faked certificates, according to police, who acted on information from the Swedish Healthcare Inspectorate (Ivo).

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