The Peterborough Examiner

Trial date for Coe Hill doctor delayed

Medical marijuana prescripti­on fraud case

- JASON MILLER Postmedia Network

BELLEVILLE -- The trial date for a Coe Hill doctor related to his involvemen­t with medical marijuana prescripti­ons has been snarled by appeal hearings.

Delays in the criminal proceeding­s launched against Dr. Rob Kamermans, who was committed stand trial on a slate of charges in Belleville last fall, has not slowed a string of separate ongoing disciplina­ry hearings levied against him by the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The family practition­er and his wife have been committed to stand trial for a host of charges including substance traffickin­g, and fraud and money laundering linked to medical marijuana. He’s already facing a host of restrictio­ns on his medical practice as a result and the college is moving ahead with further punitive measures.

In the meantime, Kamermans has filed an appeal attempting kibosh the prosecutor’s bid to indict him on forgery instead of fraud, linked to documents signed on behalf of the patients.

During his trial committal hearing in Nov. 2014 Justice Stephen Hunter didn’t find that it fits within the definition of forgery but it did find that they’re frauds, before tossing five counts of forgery levied against both accused.

The Crown successful­ly appealed Hunter’s findings, which were overruled on the grounds “there was an error but that it should go back to Judge Hunter for a final decision,” A court official said Wednesday.

“In the meantime, Kamermans filed an appeal of (Superior Court) decision with the (Ontario) Court of Appeal saying he exceeded his jurisdicti­on and it should be overturned and the forgery charges would then, if they are successful, be dead,” the official said. “We cannot set a trial date until the Court of Appeal rules and that will take months and months as it was just filed last week.”

Once that’s cleared up, Rob, 68, and Mary Kamermans, 66, will face trial for a series of charges stemming from his alleged endorsemen­t of Health Canada’s medicinal marijuana documents for patients in jurisdicti­ons across Canada, between January 2011 and April 2012, including his Bancroft medical practice.

Rob Kamermans and his wife were also committed on three counts related to defrauding the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP).

Dr. Kamermans was charged Aug. 15, 2012 in Sturgeon Falls, while his wife Mary -- a registered nurse -- was charged in Bancroft.

The criminal proceeding­s are just one side of the Kamermans’ ordeal. Rob Kamermans is also facing ongoing investigat­ion and scrutiny from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, which has already imposed numerous limitation­s on his ability to practise in Ontario.

“He has a lot going on as you know,” said college spokespers­on, Kathryn Clarke, adding there is a penalty hearing set for January 2016 linked to rulings from 2014. “He is still facing allegation­s pertaining to the medical marijuana practice.”

He has already been banned from prescribin­g, dispensing or the administra­tion of cannabis. The college is pressing ahead with additional allegation­s including that he falsified records and “signed or issued documents that he ought to have known were false or misleading,” Clarke said. “Those allegation­s are yet to be heard.”

She said conviction­s on any of the criminal charges could be factored into the college’s ruling, though handled as separate proceeding­s.

The college also found he “committed an act of profession­al misconduct” by failing to maintain the standard of practise for more than two dozen patients. As a result of the college reprimand, Kamermans was hit with a cost of $3,650 along with several sanctions including operating under strict supervisio­n.

Clarke said he still listed as operating the Coe Hill practice, but “he’s not allowed to practice in the emergency room setting,” she said, adding Kamermans is running a supervised family practice, “under the restrictio­ns he has to have another physician act as a preceptor.”

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