Medical practitioner reprimanded, has conditions imposed for professional misconduct

27 Jul 2017

A medical practitioner has been reprimanded with conditions imposed on his registration for behaving in a way that constitutes professional misconduct.

Dr Oleh Vojevod Kay, a specialist psychiatrist, has been reprimanded and had conditions imposed on his registration for behaving in a way that constitutes professional misconduct, by inappropriately prescribing hydromorphone for a person who was drug addicted.

The Medical Board of Australia received a notification on 11 January 2016 regarding the conduct of Dr Kay and referred the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal in Western Australia (the tribunal) on 16 November 2016.

During the course of the proceedings, Dr Kay admitted that he had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct, in that he inappropriately prescribed hydromorphone for his patient by writing a prescription using the name and date of birth of another person who was known to the patient. Dr Kay prescribed the medication despite knowing that the hydromorphone was intended for the patient and in circumstances where he knew that patient was a notified drug addict. Dr Kay had been informed previously by the Pharmaceutical Services Branch of the WA Department of Health that he did not have the authorisation to prescribe hydromorphone to the patient. Dr Kay also admitted that he knew or ought to have known that there was potential for misuse, abuse or psychological and/or physical dependency.

Dr Kay acknowledged that he committed an error of judgment by prescribing hydromorphone to the patient, but that he did so in circumstances where the authorised prescriber, the patient’s general practitioner, was unavailable. He submitted that he was placed in a difficult position due to the fact it occurred during a busy day before Christmas, and the patient was in a suicidal state. Dr Kay stated that he regretted his actions and had demonstrated insight by admitting the conduct when it was first brought to his attention. He also stated that he was under considerable personal pressure at the time due to events in his private life.

On 3 July 2017, the tribunal ordered that Dr Kay be reprimanded and have conditions imposed on his registration. The conditions require him to undertake further education and to submit to an audit of his prescription of opiates and benzodiazepines. He was also ordered to pay costs in the amount of $2,400.

The decision is available on the tribunal’s website.

Page reviewed 27/07/2017