Former drug-abusing GP still practising
A FORMER drug-abusing doctor who obtained drugs for his own use by using stolen prescription pads and other people's scripts has been publicly reprimanded for professional misconduct.
But Dr Logan Shemer, who was given a six-month wholly suspended jail sentence in 2017, after he pleaded guilty to related criminal offences, can still keep practising. Dr Shemer was convicted of 13 offences, including fraud, attempted fraud, bringing stolen goods into Queensland and stealing as a servant.
Dr Shemer self-prescribed various controlled or restricted drugs between late 2014 and early 2016, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.
By late 2015, Dr Shemer was abusing some controlled and restricted drugs and by March or April, 2016, his drug abuse was affecting his work performance, the tribunal heard.
The doctor, who was registered in 2012, wrote scripts in his name as a patient with the drug purportedly prescribed by another doctor or wrote scripts in another person's name as the patient.
Some of the scripts were on prescription pads he had stolen from hospitals.
In June, 2016, the Health Ombudsman suspended the registration of Dr Shemer, who had practised in hospitals in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
He was later diagnosed as suffering from amphetamine and benzodiazepine dependence.
Dr Shemer's registration lapsed in September, 2016, but in February, last year, after the doctor had undergone treatment for drug abuse, the registration suspension was revoked.
The Medical Board of Australia granted Dr Shemer general registration as a medical practitioner after he agreed to limits on his practice.
They included supervised practice, restrictions on access to medication and random drug screening.
The Health Ombudsman acknowledged that Dr Shemer had taken successful steps towards his rehabilitation and Dr Shemer's lawyer submitted that he had spent a month as an inpatient at a Brisbane private hospital and he was remorseful for his conduct.
His treating psychiatrist reported he was fit to return to work full-time, the risk of him relapsing was very small and the risk of him reoffending was very low.
The tribunal said the reprimand it ordered, as a public denunciation of the conduct, was not a trivial penalty as it had the potential for serious adverse implications for a professional person.
It also ordered continued conditions on Dr Shemer's registration, with a review after two years.
Dr Shemer's application for a non-publication order on his name was refused.
He is now registered as practising in NSW.