A woman reported to her employer as an alleged drug-seeker by a GP has told a hearing at Invercargill District Court she felt she had been "branded a criminal".

GP Rob Henderson told a Southland resthome the woman was on the methadone programme and a drug-seeker, prompting her to complain to the Privacy Commissioner, who referred it to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

In 2002, Dr Henderson was told by another doctor the woman was on the methadone programme, and had requested a prescription for opiates not justified by her symptoms.

In a separate case, she was accused of being caught in a drug room at the Invercargill urgent doctor's service.

Yesterday, the woman told the hearing she was "really distressed" by Dr Henderson's actions, New Zealand Doctor reported.

"I felt like I'd been branded a criminal," she said.

She noticed changes in people's attitudes towards her at work, became paranoid about her own work, checking and double-checking her actions, and lost confidence.

Dr Henderson, who concluded his evidence today, said he had not taken lightly the decision to report the allegations.

"I felt it was my moral and ethical obligation to let [the resthome] know as soon as possible and that to not do so was a breach of my professional responsibilities to ensure that no harm came to the residents," he told the hearing.

"At all times, I have only been motivated by my belief that the residents of [the resthome] might have been and might be at imminent risk from [the complainant] being able to access their medication."

- NZPA