Chatham doctor gets license suspended

A Chatham doctor has had his license suspended by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for 10 months for inappropriately giving his wife medication.

At a disciplinary hearing, Dr Timothy Rourke admitted to improperly prescribing and / or providing medication to his wife at the time, failing to keep medical records of medications he prescribed or provided for her and failing to discuss with her the risks, benefits or potential side effects of the medications he has prescribed or given her.

Rourke also admitted that he had committed acts of professional misconduct that would reasonably be considered disgraceful, dishonorable or unprofessional by failing to comply with college policy regarding the treatment of a family member or individual. close to him.

The unidentified patient complained in 2018, and the investigation found that she had received medication between October 2011 and December 2013 and in October 2017. The college said that two of the medications Dr Rourke prescribed or provided to the patient were not medically indicated. None of the drugs prescribed was a narcotic and only one was a controlled substance, it was learned at the hearing.

The collegiate court also ruled that Dr Rourke also improperly stored 5,000 pills, including controlled substances such as hydromorphone, oxycodone, lorazepam and clonazepam and did not eliminate prescription drugs. and samples from his doctor’s office. Some of the drugs had expired 10 years earlier.

His license was suspended for 10 months retroactively to October 14, 2021 and he must take courses in medical ethics. Dr. Rourke must also pay $ 6,000 in fees to the college.

The 61-year-old family physician has been practicing at Chatham-Kent Community Health Centers since May 2017 and at Leamington Community Health Clinic in 2016.

“He accepted responsibility and admitted his misconduct, avoiding the need for what was to be a contested week-long hearing,” wrote the court making its decision. “At least part of the misconduct (prescribing drugs for his ex-wife and collecting drugs from her previous clinics seems to have ended before the College’s involvement, and all the misconduct was concluded during the search and of the seizure at his home in November 2018. “

Dr Rourke has been practicing family medicine for over 33 years and has never been disciplined. The college was asked to close his practice, but refused because there were no other patients involved and he had never violated college policy.

Under college policy, family physicians in Ontario cannot treat family members unless it is for a minor problem or emergency.

About Terry Gongora

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