Drug-taking GP has won deregistration review

The doctor had her registration suspended in August by the Medical Board of Australia after a series of missed or positive drug tests, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal said in a finding last month.

Drug use by the GP first came to the attention of the former Queensland Medical Board in 2001 when it determined she was impaired by opioid and cannabis use. She then complied with conditions requiring her to take drug tests until 2005.

But the sole practitioner, whose name was redacted from the tribunal finding, was referred to AHPRA in July 2012 after a nurse working in her practice reported her to the Queensland Health Drugs of Dependence Unit. She admitted to self-administering morphine and pethidine and surrendered her right to prescribe controlled drugs, the tribunal said.

AHPRA immediately suspended her registration but the Medical Board instead imposed conditions that she submit to urine and hair analysis for drugs. A health