Den­tist ‘wrote 149 scripts for his wife’

NT News - - NEWS - CRAIG DUN­LOP

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.

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