Morphine, forgery and Bunnings bin diving: Medico’s disgrace

A former radiographer with a history of forging prescriptions so he could feed his morphine addiction has been banned from providing any health service.

The man had several convictions for stealing, forgery and unauthorised filling of prescriptions for morphine, a tribunal heard.

He once used liquid correction fluid to erase the name of a prescribed drug on a script and instead write "morphine sulphate'', before trying to present it at a pharmacy.

An alert chemist called police and the radiographer was charged, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

While employed at a Toowong radiology practice X Radiology in 2015 and 2016, the man stole scripts and prescription pads and presented 16 forged scripts for morphine sulphate at three Brisbane chemists.

The radiographer was previously convicted of seven counts of fraud.
The radiographer was previously convicted of seven counts of fraud.

Another time he obtained another drug without a script, after telling the chemist his doctor would fax the script, which was never sent.

He was sentenced to 18 months' probation with a condition that he submit to medical or psychological assessment or treatment.

On another occasion the radiographer presented a stolen script for morphine that was purportedly signed by a doctor who was overseas at the time.

In 2015 he obtained a doctor's blank prescription pad from Canossa Private Hospital at Oxley, handwriting a patient's details on a script for morphine, which he presented to the hospital pharmacy.

The drug was not dispensed but the man was charged.

He was sentenced to six months jail, wholly suspended, for a group of offences committed in 2016.

The tribunal heard in 2014 the radiographer had been fined $1000 for sending offensive text messages to another person.

In 2017, he was convicted of seven counts of fraud and was sentenced to six months' jail.

He had hung around rubbish bins at Bunnings stores waiting for people to discard their receipts.

He had then used the receipts to claim a refund after going into the stores and getting a similar unsold item off the shelf.

In 2018, the man pleaded guilty to stealing a packet of cold and flu tablets from a Toowong chemist and was ordered to do 40 hours of community service.

The tribunal heard the man had become addicted to opioids after being prescribed morphine for back pain and he also had a gambling addiction.

He has been suspended or unregistered for four and a half years.

On December 2, the tribunal reprimanded the former radiographer for professional misconduct.

He was prohibited from providing any health service until he obtained registration as a health practitioner.

Originally published as Morphine, forgery and Bunnings bin diving: Medico's disgrace