An Indian employed with Britain's National Health Service (NHS) has been jailed for 18 months on charges of defrauding the service of thousands of pounds by exaggerating the number of women patients who went in for smear tests.
Vinod Thapar, 62, was general practice manager with NHS.
Thapar, of Cockfosters, north London regularly asked staff to falsify patients' medical records to show that women had received smear tests. The practice received extra money from the local primary care trust by claiming an exaggerated number of screenings, according to the Guardian.
"Changing the dates of smear tests meant screenings that may have detected cancer would have been delayed," Scotland Yard said.
"Vinod Thapar's actions not only resulted in public finances being fraudulently obtained but they were also reckless with the health of the women whose records were falsified," said detective constable Grahame MacFarlane.
In October, Thapar pleaded guilty to four specimen charges of obtaining property by deception, costing the NHS 37,500 pounds. Police said it was impossible to estimate the total figure defrauded from the NHS.
Thapar was also ordered by the court to pay 37,500 pounds compensation to a local Enfield and Haringey Primary Care trust on Friday.
The NHS was set up in 1948 and is the largest organisation in Europe. It is the 'public face' of the three publicly funded health care systems of Great Britain.
The NHS provides the majority of healthcare in Britain, from general practitioners to accident and emergency departments, long-term healthcare and dentistry. It was founded in 1948 and has become an integral part of English society, culture and everyday life.
It is recognised as one of the best health services in the world by the World Health Organisation.