Italy nabs 70 fake nurses who bought diplomas

ROME (AP) -- Italian police say they have arrested 70 nurses and hospital attendants who allegedly got jobs in hospitals by using fake medical diplomas.

Police in Naples say the suspects, some of whom had been practicing since 1975, bought the fake diplomas from an organized crime group for up to euro15,000 ($19,000). The suspects, who worked in Italy's southern Calabria region, were placed under house arrest Wednesday.

The criminal organization provided brief training in basic skills such as taking patients' blood pressure and giving injections. One of the people arrested allegedly passed along answers to a medical entrance exam so the suspects could cheat.

The investigation was launched after a doctor raised concerns about incompetent nurses.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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