By Sarah Townsend
Two doctors at Salmaniya Medical Complex plead not guilty in court to forgery charges
Two doctors have been accused of selling forged sick notes to people who wanted to skive off work.
The Bahraini men, aged 26 and 34, allegedly sold fake sick notes to healthy friends for between BD10 ($26) and BD20 ($53).
But they were caught when police tapped the 26-year-old’s phone following a tip-off. The accused later agreed to sell a two-day sick note to an undercover agent for BD30 in Zinj, Bahrain, last December, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News.
The Bahrainis, who both work at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), appeared in the High Criminal Court on Tuesday to plead not guilty to forgery charges.
“I give sick leave to friends for BD10 to BD20,' the 26-year-old doctor reportedly said in his statement.
“I have worked at SMC since 2013. My salary is BD1,500 (US$3,900) and, due to my poor financial situation, I charged money in return for sick leave.
“I usually supervise patients with bone injuries and in the emergency section. I am allowed to give sick leave only to these patients and I needed to raise extra money.
“I received a call from someone who asked for a two-day sick leave and I thought he was a friend’s relative.
“I agreed and charged him BD15 for each document.”
The sick note was actually signed by his 34-year-old co-defendant, the accused said, but he insisted his colleague had no idea that he planned to sell the medical note.
“'It was the first time he agreed to sign a sick leave and hand it to me. He trusted me and I told him it was for my sick friend, who could not show up at the hospital,” the accused said.
“He had no idea that I was charging money for it or that the person did not deserve sick leave.
“I hope I will be forgiven for what I have done, which I regret.”