A Wagga doctor, who was found to have prescribed highly addictive drugs such as fentanyl to addicts over a two-year period, has been sanctioned heavily by the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC).
Ferdinand Saldevar, who practised at KRS Health on Kooringal Road during the period examined by the HCCC, prescribed fentanyl to 13 patients known to be drug addicts between September 2010 and August 2012. A further drug dependent patient was also prescribed hydromorphone and oxycodone.
Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opiate-based drug prescribed in patch form as a powerful painkiller, but the solution contained in each patch is often extracted and in some cases injected by addicts.
In the one case examined by the commission, Dr Saldevar prescribed one patient 25 fentanyl patches – enough to last two-and-a-half months – over just an 18 day period. Dr Saldevar was unable to tell the commission why he prescribed so much of the drug in such a short period of time to the patient.
Despite the extent of Dr Saldevar’s misdemeanours found to be proven by the commission, it opted against suspending or cancelling his medical registration.
The HCCC opted to officially reprimand Dr Saldevar and ordered he be banned from prescribing addictive schedule eight drugs, submit to two audits of his practice, agree to be mentored by a senior practitioner and practise under supervision.
In 2013, Dr Saldevar admitted he fradulently stated on a death certificate for a woman who died at Caloola Court the cause of death was a stroke in order to avoid triggering a coronial inquest and an autopsy on the dead woman’s body.
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