Fake nurse suspect faces further charges in WA
QUEENSLAND’S fake nurse scandal has spread, with an allegedly bogus medic facing an extra 14 charges after a review found he may have also duped officials in Western Australia.
Nicholas Crawford, 30, has been charged with unlawfully treating at least 100 patients in a six- week stint pretending to be a remote clinical nurse at the indigenous township of Aurukun on Cape York.
Police say the fraudster unlawfully used needles, inserted intravenous drips, prescribed drugs, misdiagnosed a sick infant and botched treatment of domestic violence victims.
Mr Crawford, of Darwin, has no formal training but was working in the mostly unsupervised $ 100,000- a- year position from February to March this year.
“It is an unusual test case,’’ said lead investigator detective Sergeant Adrian Worth. “It was pure blind luck no one was seriously injured or died because of his alleged actions.”
Mr Crawford posted updates on Facebook and Twitter about how he had been “living the dream” before he was charged with more than 115 counts of fraud, unlawful wounding and distributing dangerous drugs.
Staff and residents in Aurukun said Mr Crawford was a kind man, police say, but they began to question his competence after some botched procedures and many of the 164 patients he saw were angry when his alleged scam was revealed.
The scandal led to screening of the hiring of Queensland Health staff and an audit uncovered he also allegedly falsi- fied registration details and qualifications to get work as a remote area nurse in WA.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, yesterday filed three more civil charges in Queensland and 11 in WA.
His case is next listed for mention in Cairns Magistrates Court on August 27.