25 Sep 2017
The State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) in Western Australia has reprimanded Dr Robin Graeme Durston, a general practitioner, and ordered him to pay a fine after finding he breached conditions on his registration.
As part of another matter, the tribunal had imposed a number of conditions on the registration of Dr Durston on 11 March 2011. The conditions were imposed for a period of five years and included that he not administer or prescribe any drugs listed in Schedule 8 of the Poisons Act 1964 (WA) (Schedule 8 drugs) except in an emergency. The conditions stated that if Dr Durston administers or prescribes any Schedule 8 drugs in an emergency, he must notify the Board within 24 hours and provide details.
Dr Durston admitted that on 4 January 2016, he prescribed two buprenorphine patches (a Schedule 8 drug) for a patient and did not notify the Board of the purported emergency as required.
The Board changed the conditions on Dr Durston’s registration on 20 April 2016 but retained a requirement that he not administer or prescribe any Schedule 8 drugs except in an emergency and to notify the Board within 24 hours and provide details if he administers or prescribes a Schedule 8 drug in an emergency.
Dr Durston also admitted that on 21 July 2016 he prescribed alprazolam (a Schedule 8 drug) to another patient outside of an emergency.
The tribunal found that Dr Durston had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct by breaching conditions on his registration and by acting in a way that was contrary to the Good Medical Practice: A code of conduct for doctors in Australia in that he failed to recognise and work within the limits of his competence and scope of practice and comply with relevant complaints law, policies and procedures.
Dr Durston was remorseful for his actions which he says were an inadvertent lapse of judgement and not intended to be a blatant disregard of the conditions.
He was reprimanded and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and the Board’s costs.
The decision will be published on the Austlii website.