This report originally appeared on October 8, 2012

A SURGEON banned from operating at one of Melbourne’s top private hospitals due to patient safety concerns is free to continue operating in other hospitals

His averages give clear cause for concern

Cabrini Health stopped general surgeon Adam Skidmore performing colorectal surgery last year – but the ban does not extend to other hospitals.

Mr Skidmore strongly denies any wrongdoing.

Cabrini Health is also seeking to extend the ban on Mr Skidmore to exclude him from performing major upper gastrointestinal (GI) surgery.

That decision has been delayed after Mr Skidmore was granted a Supreme Court injunction to defer the decision until next month.

But despite Cabrini’s move, which the hospital said was made “in the interests of patient safety”, Mr Skidmore is still working unrestricted at the Epworth, Linacre Private, Sandringham and Frankston hospitals.

None of the hospitals or Mr Skidmore would comment when contacted by the Herald Sun while the case was before the court.

But patient advocates say hospitals should be forced to make restrictions public, while Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson said doctors should be obliged to reveal work bans to all their employers.

Court documents show Cabrini’s executive director of medical services, Associate Professor Simon Woods, told Mr Skidmore on April 5 that a review of his patients at Malvern had raised concerns.

“Unless I can be persuaded otherwise I believe that the appropriate course of action is to limit your clinical privileges to exclude major upper GI surgery,” he said.

Associate Prof Woods cited four patients of particular concern, including a woman who had a gastric band removed and ended up in intensive care and in hospital for 38 days.

“This is a highly unusual outcome for a procedure normally characterised by an overnight stay,” he said.

Mr Skidmore voluntarily suspended all his lists at Cabrini from April 10.

He asked for a review of the decision and complained he had not been afforded procedural fairness or time to defend “these serious allegations”.

Mr Skidmore argued his data appeared skewed because he dealt with his most serious and complex cases at Cabrini as it was the only hospital available to him with an intensive care unit.

“Looking at length of stay alone … is an unhelpful indicator of the performance of the surgeon,” his lawyers wrote to the hospital.

The court file contains the terms of reference for the clinical review which states: “Mr Skidmore’s case work at Malvern continues to be associated with a long length of stay.”

It said that, in 2 1/2 years, 11 of Mr Skidmore’s patients had required tracheostomy or ventilation for more than 96 hours.

“This is only exceeded by two cardiothoracic surgeons,” the document said.

“The next highest in terms of GI surgeons is four patients.”

For surgery on stomach, duodenum and oesophagus cancers it claimed Mr Skidmore’s patients had an average stay seven days longer than the hospital’s busiest surgeon.

A letter to Mr Skidmore before the court said the hospital needed to “put the safety and quality of patient care above all other considerations” and would restrict his practice “in the interests of patient safety”.

The operators of Epworth and Linacre Hospitals confirmed Mr Skidmore is under no restrictions.

Frankston and Sandringham hospitals would not comment on the surgeon’s operating privileges, but Alfred Health – which runs Sandringham – said no major upper gastrointestinal surgery took place there.

Australian Patients Association chief Stephen Mason said a doctor’s track record should be public so patients could make informed decisions about treatment.


UPDATE to the mentions of David Sarikaya below

I have received repeated correspondence from Mr Sarikaya concerning the articles below. He wants me to delete them on the grounds that the allegations are not true.

In support of his request he sent me a bunch of photocopies of court documents showing that various charges against him had been dropped. Exactly what the charges were was not given however. The only description was “make false instrument” or “use false instrument”. As you will see here that offence usually refers to credit card fraud, rubber cheques, embezzlement etc. It is not obviously relevant to his alleged misrepresentation of himself as a qualified clinical psychologist.

I therefore asked for more evidence on the matter but it was not forthcoming.

I note however that in his correspondence with me he claimed that he never represented himself as a psychologist. In conflict with that is the many blog comments to me left by his patients claiming that he had been very helpful to them with psychological problems.

It is possible that he described himself not as a psychologist but as a “trauma counsellor” or the like and, that not being a registrable occupation, he escaped prosecution. He has however not addressed that question in his correspondence with me. I would think it was still a species of fraud if he allowed people to gain the impression that he was a qualified psychologist by an evasive use of terminology.

I am of course open to further information on the matters above but my provisional opinion is that Mr Sarikaya is a very clever and confident psychopath. And I AM a fully qualified (Ph.D.) psychologist.

Google can be very high-handed in dealing with those who use their services. They seem to see us as disposable trash. Which is fair enough, I suppose. You get what you pay for and most Google services are free.

I think it is a cause of concern, however, when they protect crooks at the expense of the general public. If crooks can cover their tracks, they can go on deceiving and ripping off people.

And Google DO protect crooks. If some crook asks for a report of his misdeeds to be deleted, Google will delete it from their servers. They can’t be bothered weighing up the rights and wrongs of complaints, apparently. So crooks appear to have a completely open go to sanitize their record.

That has happened to me twice now. Two shady gentlemen in Australia about whom I had blogged succeeded in getting my blog posts taken down by Google. I reproduce below the latest takedown notice and a follow-up notice when I attempted to protest. Google have effectively blocked any communication from me.

The shady characters are Paul Darveniza and Ali Davut Sarikaya, also known as Dr David Kaye. I have used one of my old WordPress blogs — which you are now reading — to repost the news items that Google deleted. I would be obliged if people would link to this post. We might get justice back on the road that way.

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The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at You can search for the notice associated with the removal of your content by going to the Chilling Effects search page at, and entering in the URL of the blog post that was removed. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should consult your legal advisor.

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4 October, 2009

Dumb bureaucrats won’t protect you from con-men

A CONMAN posing as a psychologist was able to fool NSW health authorities with a PhD bought for $250 on the internet, police say. Using the alias Dr David Kaye, 45-year-old Ali Davut Sarikaya was allowed to treat police officers and public servants with the blessing of the state Government.

Mr Sarikaya, who was arrested by Harbourside police as he attempted to board a flight to New Zealand at Sydney airport, appeared in Central Local Court on Wednesday on fraud charges and was granted conditional bail. Police alleged the Turkish-born “doctor” claimed to be a trained psychologist, despite holding no formal qualifications apart from a bachelor of arts. His patients included police officers, prison guards and senior legal figures who were referred to his medical practice in central Sydney through WorkCover NSW.

A statement of facts tendered to the court said Mr Sarikaya had “deceived” numerous government departments and organisations since moving to Sydney in 1997. The court heard Mr Sarikaya had been convicted of fraud offences of a “dishonest … identity-type nature” in Victoria in 1994. In the years since, Mr Sarikaya, who runs trauma clinics in Sydney and Parramatta, had been building a profile as the fictitious Dr David Kaye. Police said he used this alias to avoid scrutiny of his Victorian criminal record.

The court heard that Mr Sarikaya had gained membership of several prestigious organisations, including the NSW Bar Association, by touting himself as a doctor, which he justified using a spurious PhD. “Inquiries indicate this PhD was purchased via the internet from an organisation in Minnesota, USA, for $249.95, and is by no means an official document enabling use of titles such as doctor,” the court heard.

The police facts stated that Mr Sarikaya also obtained several identity cards, including an Australian Health Professionals Association card, in the name of Dr David Kaye to help bolster his identity. The alleged facade was so convincing that Mr Sarikaya was approved to work as a psychologist under the NSW Health Department’s Official Visitors Program. In 2006, he was appointed to the program for three years by then health minister John Hatzistergos, now the Attorney-General, who personally signed off his accreditation. It allowed the alleged fraudster to visit mental health patients in northern Sydney hospitals.


9 August, 2009

Another good one from Australia’s medical regulators

Convicted conman working for government. Regulators so often let unqualified and incompetent people run riot that you wonder what they are for. Even when complaints are received, it always seems to take them years to act. DO NOT rely on them to protect you from incompetents. Make your own enquiries when and where you can. Some of these crooks could have been uncovered simply by Googling their names

A CONVICTED conman who claims to be a doctor has been discovered working for the NSW Government – treating police officers and public servants with trauma and psychological injuries. Detectives from Harbourside Local Area Command are investigating David Ali Sarikaya, 45, after a complaint was lodged against him by the NSW Medical Board. Detectives raided his Milsons Point unit and office at the Sydney Trauma Clinic in the CBD on July 31, seizing hundreds of documents and patient files.

Sarikaya lives and works in NSW under the alias Dr David Kaye and has been authorised by WorkCover NSW to treat a range of people, including police officers, prison guards and senior legal figures.

He changed names and moved to NSW more than a decade ago after being convicted and charged of fraud in Victoria. Despite lacking medical credentials, Sarikaya was appointed an “official visitor” for NSW Health, which has allowed him to consult with psychiatric patients in hospitals for the past two years.

In March 2007, after passing a written application and interview, he was approved for the position by then health minister John Hatzistergos. The confidential accreditation signed by Mr Hatzistergos, and sighted by The Sunday Telegraph, granted Sarikaya access to mental facilities and the right to inspect patient records.

About six weeks ago he withdrew from the program after concerns were raised about his credentials. The revelations have deeply embarrassed departmental officials, who last week called for a meeting with police to clarify details about his identity. The NSW Medical Board refused to comment on complaints concerning Sarikaya, but were aware of a police investigation.


15 May, 2009

More Federal Keystone Kops

They are alleged to be “elite” and “sophisticated” but even a Google search was too difficult for them! It took a newspaper to tell them that they had hired a crook

An elite crime-fighting agency, responsible for tracking the dirty cash of criminals, accidentally [negligently, more like it] employed a man who had supplied drugs and allegedly offered money-laundering services. The highly secretive Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre has been forced to stand down disgraced former Gold Coast barrister Paul Darveniza. Darveniza managed to pass through the federal agency’s police record and security checks and was employed late last year to monitor gambling transactions in northern Australia.

The revelation throws a shadow over the agency’s prowess countering organised crime and terrorism through its monitoring of money movements. A simple Google search can identify Darveniza’s shady past, including how he was found guilty in 1998 of having supplied speed and ecstasy to an undercover police officer in 1996 and 1997. The Barristers Board of Queensland and the Bar Association’s successful court case to strike Darveniza off the roll of barristers in 2000 is also available online. It details how he had also registered to practise in NSW by failing to declare his history.

The Court of Appeal proceedings detail how the undercover officer alleged Darveniza offered him money laundering services through paid commissions or the internet at a cost of $550 for each $10,000. The court found Darveniza had shown an “utter disrespect for the law” after lying about his association with the officer posing as a drug dealer.

However, Darveniza’s history escaped the attention of Austrac, which touts how its highly qualified staff use “sophisticated tools” to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Austrac, which has offices in most states, was established in 1992 to operate as Australia’s financial intelligence unit. Following the September 11, 2001 terror attack on the US, this role included a greater a focus on countering the financing of terrorists.

It is believed Darveniza slipped through the watchdog’s net because no conviction was recorded in his 1998 drugs case. The agency insisted its checks had not been compromised. “Austrac does not comment on staffing matters,” a spokeswoman said. “In all recruitment exercises we take appropriate measures to ensure that the recruits are suitable to be employed by Austrac.” [Really??]

However, it is understood Darveniza was stood down and an internal investigation launched this week after Austrac was informed of their senior manager’s history by The Courier-Mail. The probe will also look at potential breach of the agency’s code of conduct.

Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus has indicated he will seek answers to the bungled background check. “Internal staffing is a matter for the chief executive officer (of Austrac) but the Minister has asked for an urgent briefing on the matter,” Mr Debus’s spokeswoman said.

A former police officer, Darveniza has also served as the head of the Surfers Paradise Chamber of Commerce. After he was struck off, Darveniza ran a consulting business that gained licences for prostitution, adult entertainment, liquor and gamingbefore leaving mid last year. The firm’s website said “happy customers” had included Fitzgerald inquiry figure Warren Armstrong and late Sydney crime boss Abe Saffron.


I have now “rehomed” this blog on blogspot. Go HERE for the latest entries.

I have had this blog at this site for over 3 years now but the service outages lately have become just too frequent for me. The latest posts here were not accessible for about half a day yesterday and there has been a lot of that lately. So off to a new home! The same blog, just a different address.


A massive shake-up of the immigration system will slash tens of thousands from the number of foreign students flocking into Britain. Immigration minister Damian Green will also drastically reduce the number of work permits and marriage visas given to non-EU nationals under plans to cut net migration by at least half.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Green said it had become ‘starkly clear’ he must reduce the numbers being given permission to enter and stay in every category of immigration controls.
Long-standing impact: Immigration minister Damian Green believes that only students who will have a positive impact on the country should be granted student visas

It comes after surprise figures UK showed net migration leapt by a fifth last year, to 196,000.

Mr Green revealed his main target will be student visas. He today publishes research showing that – astonishingly – fewer than half of foreign students are undertaking degree-level courses.

Mr Green said it showed the image people had of foreign students attending the UK’s most prestigious universities – paying large tuition fees which kept many institutions afloat – was wrong.

More than 90,000 of them are in fact in the private sector at smaller colleges, offering the likes of GCSEs or vocational training. These students could now face being barred from the UK, although Mr Green says he is unlikely to impose a ‘cap’ on student numbers. Instead, he will focus on making it harder to be allowed to come here.

Mr Green said the Home Office study also revealed that a fifth of those students granted visas for a temporary stay are still here five years later, meaning they have a long-standing impact on the UK’s rapidly rising population levels.

In the 12 months to June this year, 362,015 foreign students were allowed to come and study in the UK – up 35 per cent on the previous year.

There remain huge concerns that many of them are attending so-called bogus colleges which repeatedly slipped through the net under Labour.

The clampdown on foreign students will build on the cap the Government has already announced on economic migrants.

This has sparked rows within the Coalition – particularly with LibDem Business Secretary Vince Cable, and Tory universities spokesman David Willetts. They are likely to agitate against the student crackdown as well.

But Mr Green effectively sent a message when he suggested he had little choice if David Cameron’s promise to reduce net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ was to be met.

The Prime Minister has said he would like to go even further by returning the figure to that of the mid-1990s – when it was around 50,000.

Mr Green told the Mail: ‘We’ve announced a limit, that’s been controversial. What is transparently clear from this evidence is that the limit itself isn’t enough to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.

‘We need to look at all immigration routes into the UK and set new rules that mean that the migrants that we get do represent the brightest and the best, and are the migrants we need.’ Mr Green added: ‘We think of this as a temporary route, but for many people it clearly isn’t.

‘Between 2004 and 2010, the number of students coming here has risen hugely, more than 300,000 student visas along with dependants were issued in the year to June 2010. ‘One can draw one’s own conclusions about what will happen long-term.

‘I want a student visa system which encourages the entry of good students to highly trusted institutions but which scrutinises much more closely or cuts out entirely those who are less beneficial to this country.’


A dangerous criminal who has no legal right to be in Britain has gone on the run after a judge ruled that to detain him would violate his human rights. Failed asylum seeker Kawa ali Azad, who carries knives and is described by his ex-partner as ‘completely unbalanced,’ was granted his freedom from an immigration centre in March.

Azad, an Iraqi Kurd, who has six convictions for violence, immediately breached the bail terms of the release by failing to appear at a police station to have an electronic tag fitted. He then breached a lifetime restraining order by making threats against his ex-partner. Police have had to move her and their son and give them a new identity because of his repeated harassment.

Azad, 34, has now been on the run for more than five months – and police admit they have no idea where he is. They are so concerned about the risk he poses to his ex-partner Tania Doherty that she has been ordered not to visit family and friends and to carry an ‘abduction pack’ with the details and DNA of her son of four, in case he is snatched.

Miss Doherty, whose new name cannot be disclosed, says she is terrified he will return to kidnap their son or hurt her family – both of which he has threatened. ‘I just cannot believe he was released,’ she says. ‘I am disgusted. ‘He has attacked me in broad daylight and threatened to kill me and members of my family. I really fear for my son.’

Azad has been convicted of a string of violent offences, as well as dangerous driving, since he arrived in Britain.

When Miss Doherty ended their relationship in 2006, he battered, harassed and assaulted her for two years. This culminated in an attack in which he beat her unconscious as she sat on a beach in Eastbourne with their son before attempting to snatch the boy.

Azad was jailed for 12 months after the attack. Following his release from prison the Border Agency tried to deport him and he was flown to Baghdad airport. But Iraqi authorities refused to accept him and he was sent back to Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow.

He was detained because he no longer had any legal right to stay in the country. When he was at first refused bail from the centre he flew into a rage, damaging a courtroom and having to be restrained by staff.

But in March this year an immigration judge decided to release him against the advice of police and the Home Office – on the grounds that detaining him was violating his human rights.

As soon as he was freed, Azad breached his bail by not turning up to be tagged and began leaving threatening messages on a phone belonging to his ex-partner, thus violating the lifetime restraining order preventing him from contacting her.

Miss Doherty says she is furious that, while Azad enjoys his freedom, she and her son are forced to live in fear. ‘Human rights are a joke as far as I’m concerned,’

Miss Doherty said. ‘Having to give my son a new name was the most upsetting part – it was like I lost a part of him. ‘I have had to move away from all my friends and family so I feel totally isolated – all because of him.’

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said the Home Office had ‘strongly opposed’ the decision to release Azad. ‘We removed Mr Azad in October 2009, but the Iraqi authorities refused to accept him,’ the spokesman said.

‘Following his return to the UK Mr Azad was released on bail by an immigration judge. He has since absconded and we have shared his details with the police.’

Sussex Police said it had been searching for Kawa ali Azad ‘who we seek to arrest and interview on suspicion he breached a Restraining Order’.

The Immigration and Asylum Tribunal refused to discuss why one of its judges had released Azad.


It is generally true that the past is the best guide to the future that we have but that is not to say that it is always a good guide. Does anybody seriously think that (say) America of 100 years ago is the same as the America of today?

Yet by far the commonest argument coming from the Left about immigration in general and about Muslim immigrants in particular is precisely that America of today IS just like the America of 100 years ago. You can read the latest such article in the NYT (by Kristof). It is an argument so hackneyed by now that he could almost have written it in his sleep. Maybe he did.

The argument is that the Irish, Italians and others who came to America in the 19th century were viewed with grave suspicion by many and suffered from discrimination but in the end blended in seamlessly with Americans of other ancestries: The melting pot.

From that Kristoff and others conclude that Muslims will eventually “melt” into a homogeneous American population also. And perhaps many will. But there are two crucial difference that will at least greatly hinder full integration:

1). In the 19th and most of the 20th century, immigrants were EXPECTED to assimilate whereas these days multiculturalism reigns and the very word “assimilate” is almost an obscenity to the Left.

2). The Italians, Irish and Poles came from CHRISTIAN backgrounds so had a considerable degree of common culture with Americans originating from earlier waves of immigration. More to the point they did not come from a culture that DESPISES Christian and post-Christian civilization, whereas Muslims do.

It is a basic imperative of Islam to attack and if possible conquer other civilizations — and they have been doing it more or less continuously ever since the conquests led by Mohammed himself. They were even attacking Christian targets at the time of America’s War of Independence and President Jefferson sent warships to combat them.

So the wave of Muslim immigrants is a wave of people whose basic teachings are hostile to America. That has never happened before and therefore makes comparisons with previous immigrant waves invalid.

The controversy over the “Ground Zero” mosque in NYC has of course brought to the fore the question of how Americans should react to Muslims in their midst. I myself, as an Australian living in the happy obscurity of a small Australian city most people have never even heard of, have no dog in that fight. I think the response to the mosque proposal is for New Yorkers and New Yorkers alone to judge. But I don’t think it is unreasonable for New Yorkers to be hostile to anything Muslim given the hostility of Islam to the West.

But Muslims are still a very small immigrant group in America and the long-standing argument about immigration to America is about Latino illegals, not Muslims. And here we see the same argument from the Left: People who arrived legally from Europe a century or so ago eventually assimilated so people who arrive illegally from Mexico (etc.) will also eventually assimilate. And no doubt many will and in fact many have already done so.

But arriving legally and arriving illegally are two very different things and Europe is also very different from Latin America. Europe is the fountainhead of modern civilization whereas Latin America is a civilizational backwater (to put it kindly). So once again there are large differences between earlier arrivals and recent ones that create considerable potential for outcomes different from what we have seen in the past.

And the omens for Hispanic illegals assimilating are not good. The children of Irish, Polish, Italian (etc.) legal immigrants became indistinguishable from other Americans but that is not so with the Hispanics. That Hispanics have a notably higher crime-rate than non-Hispanic whites is concern enough but their children are even worse, even more prone to criminality. As well as black gang-bangers America now has a proliferation of Hispanic gang bangers. Far from assimilating into the mainstream, the children of the illegals have moved even further away from it.

So once again the complexities of reality upset the simplistic theories of the Left. Neither in the case of Muslims nor in the case of Hispanic illegals can we expect the universal assimilation of the past. Permanently hostile subgroups are instead to be expected. Americans are right to be concerned about that.

We read:

One of the gun dealers of Austin’s Gun Show is sentenced to 6-months at a federal work camp for selling a weapon to an undocumented immigrant. Independent firearms dealer-Paul Copeland says for years he has commonly sold handguns and antique weapons with no problems and prior to his arrest the illegal immigrant showed him what appeared to be a valid Texas driver’s license.

In January 2009, the ATF along with the Austin police department set up a sting operation targeting independent firearms dealers that were selling weapons to illegal immigrants, both inside the show and outside the Austin’s Gun Show’s parking lot.

Got that? The illegal had valid ID, yet, Copeland was the one arrested and sentenced. If Copeland had asked for more, he would have been in violation of federal “supremacy” laws, ya know. Perhaps the ATF could have arrested the illegals?

Investigators with the Austin police department believed many of the guns sold to the undocumented immigrants at the show were headed back across the Texas-Mexico border. “I guess you need ask them for their documentation too; if the police aren’t going to profile why should the common citizen have to” says Copeland. He says none of the undocumented immigrants that were asked to testify against him were arrested by federal agents.

The police are probably afraid to ask for ID and arrest the illegals, otherwise, the Obama administration will sue them.

Austin’s Federal Judge Sam Sparks sentenced Copeland to spend the next 6-months at a federal work camp followed by 2-years of probation.

And what of the illegal who purchased the gun with valid ID? No one seems to know.


The problem is low-skilled immigrants from central Europe and illegals from everywhere but the government has no control over arrivals of the former (unless it leaves the EU) and a proven inability to do much about the latter. So the only way they can effectively cut immigration is to bar skilled migrants from the rest of the world — which will at least do no good and probably will do harm

There is one very effective step they could take but they are probably too centrist to do it: Deny welfare benefits to immigrants until they have made ten years of National Insurance contributions

The Government has got its policy on immigration caps wrong and should drop it in favour of a points-based system, according to the head of the business group, London First, and leading international companies.

With just days left until submissions to the Government consultation on immigration controls are due, businesses are warning caps on skilled labour could threaten the recovery and drive business abroad.

London First claims that the coalition’s plans to cap non-EU immigration will affect only 55,000 of the 567,000 migrants who came to the UK, based on last year’s figures. Those migrants are what is known as Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants – highly skilled and skilled workers who are in many cases key employees.

“I do not think the public had these people in mind when they voted for this Government’s plan to cap immigration,” Baroness Valentine, chief executive of London First, said.

The deadline for submissions to the Migration Advisory Committee is Tuesday. London First and its members are calling for the cap on Tier 2 migrants, skilled workers, to be lifted. The group is particularly keen on inter-company immigration – where workers move between different national offices – to be uncapped.

The temporary cap on immigration, introduced earlier this summer, is due to end in April next year when permanent limits could be put in place.

The Government says it plans to reduce net immigration from the current 500,000 per year to “tens of thousands”. But London First questions how this is possible by targeting the 50,000 Tier 1 and 2 migrants that arrive each year.