A TRUSTED psychiatrist who worked in the UK for 23 years built her career on lies.
And Zholia Alemi worked within Ayr’s Ailsa Hospital for nearly a year and a half back in 2007 and 2008, it was revealed this week.
An investigation by our sister paper, the News and Star, uncovered how the 56-year-old New Zealander cynically exploited a loophole in UK medical registration procedures to pass herself off as a qualified doctor.
The information came to light when she was prosecuted and later jailed for faking the will of a grief-stricken widow in west Cumbria – part of an audacious attempt to inherit the pensioner’s £1.3m estate.
Alemi was jailed for five years at Carlisle Crown Court where the judge described her offences as ‘wicked’.
Now one of the top bosses at NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s Medical Services has urged any patients with concerns about their diagnosis or treatment at Ailsa Hospital ten years ago.
Dr John Taylor, Associate Medical Director, Mental Health Services said: “Zholia Alemi worked at NHS Ayrshire & Arran as a locum psychiatrist for approximately 16 months between 2007 and 2008. At the time, we confirmed she was registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) before employing her.
“The GMC is the regulatory body which protects patients by ensuring all doctors are registered with a licence to practise before they can work in the UK.
“During her employment, there were no formal complaints raised against her.
“We would like to apologise for any distress this situation may have caused. If patients were treated by this individual and have concerns, we would advise them to contact our Mental Health Services team on 01292 559863.”
Alex Owen was treated at Ailsa back in 2008 and he told the BBC that he did not agree with her diagnosis of him.
He said: “My experience with Ms Alemi was she was a pleasant character.
“However, I didn’t always agree with the diagnosis that was given at that point in time which was borderline personality disorder.”
Alemi, from New Zealand, worked across the UK over the past two decades and anyone worried about being affected by treatment from her should visit https://www.gmc-uk.org/news/news-archive/our-update-on-zholia-alemi