Ahmad Shoim & Heru Andriyanto, Surabaya – A fraudulent physician who worked for several years without a legitimate medical degree certificate was sentenced to three and a half years by the Surabaya District Court on Wednesday.
Susanto, 48, was found guilty of document forgery and deception after illicitly practicing as a physician with counterfeit medical licenses for three years in the state-owned hospital network, Pelindo Husada Citra (PHC), in East Java.
The sentence, although less than the four years sought by the prosecutors, takes into account the fact that Susanto "has shown remorse and admitted wrongdoing," said Presiding Judge Tongani as he read the verdict.
The defendant, who participated in the hearing via video conference, and the prosecution team both indicated they may consider filing an appeal, requesting a week to decide their stance.
Prosecutor Ugik Ramantyo argued that Susanto deserves a harsher sentence due to his status as a repeat offender.
In August 2011, Susanto was sentenced to four years in prison by a court in East Kutai regency, East Kalimantan, for a similar offense.
In this recent case, Susanto stole a medical degree certificate, medical practice license, and an ID card belonging to Anggi Yurikno, a legitimate doctor practicing in Bandung.
Court documents revealed that Susanto, a high school graduate with no medical education, downloaded the documents from a website and replaced the photographs with his own, without altering the rest of the details.
He used these altered documents to apply to Surabaya-based PHC, which advertised job openings on April 30, 2020. The entire recruitment process, including interviews, was conducted remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Somehow, Susanto managed to qualify and began working on June 15 of the same year.
He was assigned to the PHC clinic at a Pertamina refinery in Cepu, Central Java, with a monthly salary of Rp 7.5 million, excluding benefits and allowances.
The company became suspicious when, on June 12, 2023, it asked Susanto to resubmit his documents as part of a contract extension procedure and discovered many inconsistencies.
The management then contacted the real dr. Anggi, who confirmed that he had never applied for a job at PHC. This revelation marked the end of Susanto's fraudulent medical career.
In a statement issued last month, PHC clarified that Susanto was a part-time employee primarily responsible for preventive measures and promotion and had "never been assigned to provide medical treatment to patients."