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Nov 6, 2019

Scam Alert! New Zealand Medical Students have Elective Paperwork Signed-off for Cash!

Marvin Manzanero

The University of Otago in New Zealand is investigating claims that medical students faked work placement records in Belize. An online article claims that the medical students got their elective paperwork signed-off for cash. The allegations suggest some interns choose specific medical centres in Belize where they can get their placement signed-off – sometimes for cash – after only a week or less. For around three hundred dollars, trainee doctors can have their documents falsified before being taken on a tour of the hospital for photos in gowns and scrubs. According to the Director of Health Services, he first became aware of the situation in 2016.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“The first time my desk was made aware in 2016 is when medical students, I can’t recall if it was from Australia or New Zealand had come to my desk to sign them a letter stating that they had done an internship in Belize. I wasn’t sure what that was about and I couldn’t sign anything because my desk wasn’t fully aware. We did start a canvassing of facilities and then we realize that there had been medical students who had been coming to San Ignacio primarily, Belmopan and San Pedro. Primarily people from the UK, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. I can’t recall from any other country but because we didn’t have a structure in place when we reviewed that in 2016 my note three years ago to the management teams was that we would no longer going to be accepting any medical students to come and do medical electives in Belize until there was a proper structure in place and we still don’t have in our public health system.”



“Who was giving these people these documents and signing off on them because that is something every serious?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“Well I don’t know what was signed. I do know that there was a note published in New Zealand but I don’t know what exactly was signed and who signed it. When we went to the medical students we basically told them that we can’t signed anything because I am not sure who validated your course of study here.”

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