Pinoy Nurse in UK Victorino Chua Convicted for Murder, Certificates Questioned
Filipino nurse in the UK Victorino Chua has been found guilty of murdering two of his patients while poisoning others at Stockport’s Stepping Hill hospital.
With his conviction, Chua’s qualifications to work as nurse in the UK has gathered interest.
Investigating officers from the Greater Manchester Police travelled to Manila discovered inconsistencies between Chua’s two nursing certificates. Manila’s notorious forgery district known as “Recto University” by people on the black market is operating openly, churning out fake certificates of various kind — birth, university and other proof of qualifications for as little as P1,500.
A forger, who wished to remain anonymous, confirms business is brisk.
“Lots of requests to make a diploma in nursing. On average per month 35 people are asking for that. It costs 1,500 pesos,” the forger said.
According to the BBC, investigators “were so worried” that they wrote to the Department of Health and the Home Office and immediately contacted the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Nazir Afzal, who was responsible for prosecuting Chua, said the Stepping Hill case raises the “extremely worrying” prospect that many untrained foreign workers could be working in UK hospitals.
NMC’s Chief Executive and Registrar Jackie Smith said significant changes had been made to the registration process since Chua came to the UK.
“We’re talking about identifying individuals who can practise safely,” she added.
Chua took up nursing qualification at Manila’s Galang Medical Center, reportedly listed as one of the worst performing nursing schools in the Philippines and has since been shut down.
When investigators came to Manila to check his records, they found his certificates do not match — and even questioned the possibility of him not sitting his final nursing exam.
Jose Ray Fulgencio, former registrar at defunct Galang Medical Center, told BBC he believed Chua did graduate. But he also thinks certificates are also altered, as he admitted fake qualifications were rampant.
Chua landed his first nursing job at Manila’s Metropolitan Hospital in April 1991 where he met his wife. Investigators found that he was disciplined at the hospital for what BBC News understands was for theft. However, there is no mention of this on records he brought with him to the UK, where his family moved in February 2002.
Since Chua’s arrival in the UK, a number of changes have been made and more stringent checks of documentation were added to the process.
“Right now anyone coming from abroad [outside the EU] has to do an online test first of all. If they pass that test they have to obtain a visa via the Home Office,” NMC’s Smith said, enumerating the more lengthy process an applicant outside of the EU region has to undertake.
Victorino Chua’s qualification or lack thereof has little or no bearing with the crimes he made. But if his questionable certificates were discovered upon his arrival and prevented him from working in the UK, he would never have been able to murder and patients in the country.