Five Nigerian men and one Zambia man are due to appear in a court in South Africa accused of impersonating doctors and endangering people’s lives.
Special police investigators say they are believed to be part of a syndicate.
The men are alleged to have been running at least six private practices in at least three provinces.
CSI Africa, a private investigation firm, says the medical profession is one of the most targeted by fraudsters in South Africa.
According to its research, fake qualifications run at between 15% and 18% across various professions in the country.
The five Nigerian men are due to appear in the Middleburg Magistrates court in Mpumalanga province along with two qualified Nigerian doctors who are alleged to have allowed their medical numbers to be used to register more practices.
South Africa’s Board of Health Care Funders (BHCF), a medical lobby group, has said it is concerned that thousands of people may have been misdiagnosed by the suspects.
The authorities are also investigating reports that up to 17 other people suspected of being fake doctors have been treating patients in government and private hospitals.
Last week, a man who claimed to be a doctor was arrested after the woman he performed a caesarean section on died in the Eastern Cape province.