Mystery medic surfaces via email

Computerworld has received an email purporting to be “a official news release” (sic) from Linda Astor, the woman at the centre of a row between the Health Department and the Alliance Party in the middle of 1997.

The Polish woman, claiming to be a fully trained psychiatrist, fled New Zealand amid claims that she wasn’t a qualified psychiatrist, practised medicine without a licence and may not even have been a woman at all.

The author of the email is “ammused at the total disfigurement of the facts” (sic). There follows a list of five points written, it would seem, to clarify the situation.

They address the question of the Astor’s sex (“Some idiot or other ... requested wrong information from USA.”); the question of patient confidentiality (“Patients can say anything about us, the doctors, but we can not say anything about the patient.”); the Minister of Health’s desire to “reinvent the wheel”; and the Department of Immigration’s lack of consistency (“The same government actively lures people to the country and the same government rejects them”).

The email includes the plea, “Please do not pester me any longer, but I am willing to answer questions if they are of any help to your country” (sic). It ends with the epithet, “Xcuse the typos ... time is money”.

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