Dentist struck off after prescribing drugs to himself

A NORTHERN Territory court has struck off a dentist who doled out drugs to himself and to family members

According to court documents from the NT Civil and Administrative tribunal, Dr Desmond Worboys will be banned from registering as a dentist for a year.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency received a notification in March 2016 that Dr Worboys had prescribed benzodiazepines - highly addictive tranquillisers - to a family member.

An investigation by the Dental Board of Australia found Dr Worboys had written out up to 65 prescriptions for benzos for a family member between September 2011 and July 2016.

The investigation found he had also issued up to 69 prescriptions for antibiotics to a family member and 15 prescriptions for paracetamol and codeine.

All of those prescriptions were filled.

Dr Worboys was also found to have issued prescriptions in his own name for benzos and antibiotics.

The dentist did not present to AHPRA treatment records in relation to the family member when requested.

The family member whose name the prescriptions were in said they "could not recall" being prescribed benzodiazepines by Dr Worboys.

In November 2016, the DBA banned Dr Worboys from prescribing medication as it found he "posed a serious risk" to people.

In his submission to the board, Dr Worboys said he was unable to practice dentistry due to "injuries sustained whilst working in the military".

"I have been through pain management treatment but am only taking antidepressants for pain management purposes," he wrote.

"While it is not likely that I will return to the practise of dentistry I would like to keep my dental registration".

Although Dr Worboys voluntarily surrendered his registration, he was still subject to orders by NTCAT.

He admitted the "majority of prescriptions" were written for a family member who suffered from a long standing medical conditions. he also admitted to self-prescribing medication.

Dr Worboys agreed the allegations constituted professional misconduct in that he failed to provide adequate treatment to a family member, acting outside the scope of his health specialty, failed to maintain professional boundaries and acted contrary to the code of conduct.

NTCAT ordered Dr Worboys be disqualified for holding or applying for registration as a dentist before July 2020.

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