Dentist ‘wrote 149 scripts for his wife’
A FORMER Darwin dentist allegedly issued more than 150 prescriptions for powerful medications – including sleeping pills and painkillers – in his and his wife’s names, tribunal records reveal.
The dentist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of writing 149 scripts in his wife’s name and seven in his own name between 2011 and 2016.
The cost to the taxpayer will amount to thousands, with the scripts all filled under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme at pharmacists in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.
The Northern Territory Board of the Dental Board of Australia alleges the last script was filled shortly after the medico was told he was under investigation by the medical professional watchdog, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
In documents filed in the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the board alleges an AHPRA investigator made inquiries with his wife asking whether her husband had prescribed benzodiazepines to her.
“The (dentist’s) wife stated she could not recall,” the application says. The dentist is also accused of misleading the investigator, after allegedly saying he was not practising because of ill health and was unlikely to return to work but would like to keep his registration.
A month later, a manager at the NSW prison system’s inhouse healthcare service, where the dentist had been working, called AHPRA with a query about conditions on his registration.
The board alleges the department confirmed to the investigator the dentist was working full-time when he claimed to be unemployed.
Among the board’s allegations is that the dentist “inappropriately prescribed medication to his wife and/or for some other purpose” acted outside the scope of his specialty, failed to maintain professional boundaries and acted contrary to the profession’s code of conduct.
The board alleges the dentist’s conduct amounted to either misconduct or unsatisfactory conduct and that his professional performance was unsatisfactory.
The dentist will be sent a full brief of evidence by December 14, and will have until February to respond to the board’s allegations.