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Decision No: 03/114C
Practitioner: Mr Christie Arianesan Philipiah
Charge Characteristics: Intent to defraud
Attempting to defeat the course of justice
Additional Orders: Doctor denied interim name suppression:  03114cfindingsnamesup
Doctor denied private hearing:  03114cfindingsnamesup
Decision: 03114cfindings



A CAC charged that Mr Philipiah was convicted by the District Court of the following offences, each being an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of three months or longer;

  1. Take/obtain/uses documents for pecuniary advantage [x28] Crimes Act 1961 section 229A;
  2. Obstruct/pervert/defeat course of justice [x6] Crimes Act 1961 sections 115, 116, 117;

The CAC charged that the offences reflect adversely on the practitioner’s fitness to practise medicine.


Mr Philipiah was found guilty of 28 charges of fraudulently using General Medical Services claim schedules for the purpose of obtaining for himself a pecuniary advantage and three charges of wilfully attempting to obstruct the course of justice by writing false entries in a patient’s clinical record and by requesting a women’s refuge worker and a patient to sign letters which contained statements he knew to be incorrect.

Mr Philipiah was originally committed for trial on 107 separate charges but following a decision of the Court of Appeal in R v Tuckerman ((CA) 280/86 31 October 1986), a lesser number of charges were selected to proceed to trial.

On 29 October 2002 Mr Philipiah was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment in respect of the 28 counts of fraudulently using GMS claim schedules and nine months imprisonment in respect of the charges relating to attempts to obstruct the course of justice, the terms being cumulative thus making a total of three years imprisonment. Mr Philipiah is currently under home detention.



The Tribunal was unanimously of the view that Mr Philipiah’s actions in making claims for patient visits he did not undertake were for the purposes of pecuniary benefit to himself and they do reflect adversely on his fitness to practise medicine. The Tribunal considered his fabrication of patient records and the flagrant disregard for patients’ health and safety was a most serious aspect to this offending. Further, the Tribunal considered that Mr Philipiah’s actions in requesting his patients to make false statements in order to support him was an abuse and breach of trust.



The Tribunal ordered that Mr Christie Arianesan Philipiah’s name be formally removed from the Register; that he be censured; and pay 40% of the costs and expenses incidental to this inquiry.  It further ordered publication of the orders in the New Zealand Medical Journal.