A health practitioner was ordered to pay over $20,000 after she was found to commit professional misconduct for wrongly prescribing medications.

The woman was found to have prescribed medications for herself, or in the names of family members for them or for herself.

Three particulars were alleged against the practitioner for the prescriptions and a fourth particular for driving drunk and failing to stop when required.

On October 26 last year, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal considered a charge laid against the woman by a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC).

Advertisement

The female doctor, who was granted name suppression, was censured following the Tribunal's hearing and ordered to pay a fine of $5000.

She was ordered to pay the sum of $17,500 towards the cost of prosecution by the PCC and the cost of the Tribunal, to be divided equally.

Meanwhile, she was also disqualified from driving for six months and fined $700 after being convicted in court for drink driving.

The proportion of alcohol in her breath was almost double the legal limit, presenting 710 micrograms per litre, the limit is 400 micrograms per litre.

She was also convicted on the same day for failing to comply with a lawful requirement by an enforcement officer after failing to stop when told.

Back in 2013, her own doctor prescribed her Sumatriptan and a year later she self-prescribed the drug to herself as medical care or treatment.

Two years later in 2016, as the result of an incident, she attempted to treat herself with steroids, mainly prednisone.

As a consequence, the woman self-treated another incident with Zopiclone, which in turn led to an addiction to the drug and dependency on prednisone.

Advertisement

The practitioner was later admitted to hospital due to complications arising from her self-prescribed use of the steroids to treat her.

During this time and variously between January 2014 and December 2016, the woman prescribed medication for her partner, mother, father, brother and sister.

The Health Committee of the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) was notified by the medical registrar of her admission to hospital.

In a letter, the registrar noted how the practitioner increasing consumed alcohol and also referred to her "escalating alcohol and zopiclone use" as a result of social and psychological distress.

The MCNZ's Health Committee continued to monitor the practitioner with regular reports from her GP and she entered voluntary undertakings with the committee.

Along with the fines and censorships, the practitioner was also ordered to undertake an education programme approved by MCNZ medical advisers.

She must advice future employers of the Tribunal's decision and its orders for a period of three years thereafter.

She was also ordered not to self-prescribe or prescribe treatment for herself or family members.