More paramedics accused of drug theft
THERE have been five further cases since 2008 i n which Victorian paramedics have been accused of stealing the powerful painkiller fentanyl from ambulance supplies.
Three paramedics were fired after an inves- tigation into the theft of the drug, while two others resigned during an investigation, Ambulance Victoria confirmed yesterday.
The revelation came after two Victorian paramedics were arrested and stood down after fentanyl was allegedly stolen from vials, leading to hundreds of patients being treated with tap water instead of the painkiller.
Only one of the further five cases since 2008 affected patients, and that was in northern Vic- toria, where the drug was siphoned from the bottle and replaced with water, an Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said.
All cases were passed to police, she said, but was unable to detail the outcome of the police investigations.
One l ong- serving paramedic has been stood down as police investigate the latest theft.
The Donvale man, 47, was interviewed by police on October 5 and released pending the application of a summons.
A paramedic, 40, was arrested on Tuesday after a police search in South Melbourne. He was also released pending summons and has been stood down.
Police are investigating theft allegations from Ambulance Victoria response stations.