A general practitioner suspected of having issued false vaccination certificates to at least a hundred patients, at Ravine des Cabris, in October 2021, is on trial this Thursday afternoon at the Saint-Pierre judicial court. A group of demonstrators is present on the spot to support the practitioner against whom the prosecution has requested a permanent ban on practicing.
A doctor at the bar of a court. The image is unusual and yet, a general practitioner from the Ravine des Cabris district had an appointment at the Saint-Pierre judicial court this Thursday, June 8.
He is accused of having issued at least a hundred false health passes to patients who were therefore not really vaccinated. And for that, Doctor Bertrand Lucas risks 7 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 euros. Facts dating back to the end of 2021 when Reunion was still suffering from the consequences of the health crisis.
The report of Réunion la 1ère:
The doctor who distributed fake health passes risks being permanently banned from practicing
At the beginning of the afternoon, even before the opening of the trial, a group of demonstrators gathered in front of the courthouse to support the defendant. “All with Doctor Lucas, for enlightened medicine“, could we read on a banner held up by his supporters.
Demonstrators who therefore took advantage of this court hearing to recall their opposition to government policy during and after the health crisis, and their opposition above all to the famous health pass whose implementation has divided the country, including in Reunion, where several parades were organized.
During the hearing, the Saint-Pierre prosecutor demanded a six-month suspended prison sentence against the doctor as well as a fine of 10,000 euros, half of which was suspended, but above all the ban definitively to practice his profession.
For the representative of the Public Ministry, there is no doubt: Doctor Lucas would have acted for pecuniary reasons. But the main interested party ensures that not. He would have acted”according to his conscience“, according to his lawyer, Me Djalil Gangate. “He acted with humanity in the face of people who were in extreme distress“Several of these false passes had been issued to professionals subject to the vaccination obligation…
The Regional Health Agency and the General Social Security Fund realized this when some of the GP’s patients decided to be vaccinated… for real! Their names were already in the databases!
The Ravine des Cabris doctor did not ask a priori for an additional cost for these false passes but he received the part reimbursed by health insurance. However, opinions differ on the amount of damages. The civil parties estimate that it reaches 36,000 euros while the defense advances a sum not exceeding 5,000 euros.
The doctor collapsed at the bar at the end of the hearing. “I caused trouble in a period when there was already a lot of it, I apologize to the court and I beg you to leave me my job“, did he declare.
It was the gendarmes of OCLAESP, the Central Office for the fight against attacks on the environment and public health, who had carried out the investigations. After the hearings of some 120 patients in the space of 48 hours, the investigators had gone back to the practitioner.
He had been arrested on Wednesday October 13, 2021 and indicted for “production of false administrative documents by a person in charge of a public service mission” and “health insurance scams”.
This doctor also exposes himself to disciplinary proceedings if his criminal responsibility is confirmed. “Our profession cannot tolerate any action that contravenes public health and the Public Health Code.“, had reacted at the time Benjamin Dusang, the president of the Council of the Order of doctors.
“Teveryone must be aware that we must not be above the law“, had for his part commented thee Doctor Christine Kowalczyk, President of the Confederation of French Medical Unions.