|Practitioner:||Dr Anthony Andrew Bell|
|Charge Characteristics:||Breach of Medicines Regulations|
The Director of Proceedings charged that Dr Bell was guilty of conduct unbecoming a medical practitioner and that conduct reflected adversely on his fitness to practise medicine in that while treating a patient he provided services of an inappropriate professional standard. In particular when Dr Bell supplied the drugs Diazepam and Acupan to his patient he failed to comply with Regulation 23 of the Medicines Regulations 1984.
The patient saw Dr Bell at approximately 12.40 am on 7 December 1996. The patient had a recurrence of shoulder pain.
Dr Bell diagnosed cervical neuralgia. His plan was to prescribe the patient with Diazepam to relax her muscles, and induce sleep. The patient was in a lot of pain and was having difficulty sleeping. Dr Bell prescribed Diazepam and Acupan tablets. He gave her a continuing prescription for filling the following day.
As there was no pharmacy open Dr Bell was obliged to dispense medication to the patient. He did this after explaining the nature of the medication, the purpose of the medication, the dose of the medication and the side effects of it. He placed the pills in an unlabelled small re-sealable plastic bag. The patient understood the instructions.
The Tribunal found Dr Bell was not guilty of conduct unbecoming a medical practitioner which reflects adversely on his fitness to practise medicine.
Regulation 23 of the Medicine Regulations 1984 requires that the name of the medicine, its dose and frequency be recorded in writing. The Tribunal found it clear Dr Bell did not do this and therefore Dr Bell did not comply with Regulation 23 of the Medicines Regulation 1984.
The Tribunal then went on to consider whether the established conduct warranted the making of a determination that Dr Bell should be disciplined. The Tribunal noted that Dr Bell complied with all matters set out in Regulation 23 in verbal form, and the patient understood this. The Tribunal considered B v Medical Council (High Court, Auckland 11/1996, 8 July 1996) and CAC v Mantell (District Court, Auckland NP 4533/98, 7 May 1999), and concluded Dr Bell's conduct did not require sanction for the purposes of protecting the public.