A prominent GP has been suspended pending an enquiry that he charged elderly couples for routine home visits.
The doctor, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is suspected of pocketing up to £200,000 in a series of house calls spanning 20 years.
Doctor X, from a village that cannot be named for legal reasons has defended his actions in a bizarre outburst by saying "Look, I've got to cover my costs. There's my labour, materials, travelling time. And diesel for the van don't come cheap either" he added.
When quizzed why he needed a van in his line of work Dr X explained "Look pal, I was struggling to make ends meet on my £150,000 doctor's salary so I did a plumbing course. There's a real shortage of medical practicioners that can also boast rudimentary plumbing skills. I saw there was a gap in the market and went for it."
One of Dr X's victims, Mrs Y, who can not be named for legal reasons, and hails from the same village that can not be named for the same legal reasons said tearfully "Dr X took my husbands temperature and blood pressure then took himself off downstairs whilst he waited for the readings. He appeared five minutes later saying "All done" (I'd muttered when he arrived that we had a leaking tap in the kitchen and it was driving me mad. It was just small talk)."
It has emerged that Dr X replaced a waste pipe, changed some washers and installed a set of chrome mixer taps in the 5 minutes he was gone.
Mrs Y went on "I didn't ask him to do it. He just did. Anyway, my husbands readings were normal which I was greatly relieved at. As I was showing Dr X out I said "How can I ever repay you Doctor. He said "Well, I take Switch, cheques or just call it £500 for cash."
She continued "He was laughing to himself saying that it was better than the VAT man getting hold of it."
Industry insiders have warned people, especially the elderly, to be on their guard for bogus doctors doubling up as plumbers. Nick Knowles, a popular DIY expert warned "Anybody coming to your door dressed in a white coat and carrying a medical case is probably best avoided. Conversely, anybody wearing blue overalls and carrying a toolbox are probably not what they seem either."