Doctor’s bedroom flop exposed in health fraud
A DISTINGUISHED doctor struggling with a lack of "libido" stole from a colleague to fraudulently prescribe himself 96 erectile-dysfunction tablets.
Dr Anand Madhukarro Choudhary, 45, was motivated by "misplaced pride", according to his counsel Ruth O'Gorman.
Ms O'Gorman said her client was "too embarrassed" to visit a general practitioner for a legal script when work pressures began to impact him in the bedroom.
Police prosecutor Stuart Lydford today told Maroochydore Magistrates Court Choudhary was working as a consultant psychiatrist for a Caloundra health clinic when he stole two scripts from a fellow doctor in March.
Choudhary filled them out and forged his colleague's signature to buy and attempt to buy two boxes of 46 tablets, each worth $695.
Sergeant Lydford said when his employer confronted him, Choudhary first denied his conduct then lied that he had self-reported to authorities, and falsified an email to the health ombudsman.
"(These crimes were) committed by a person who is a highly-qualified practitioner, in his workplace which did involve stealing of the scripts, making out the scripts, forging the signature and then going on to fabricate an email to cover his tracks," Sgt Lydford said.
Choudhary pleaded guilty today to one count each of fraud, attempted fraud and two counts of stealing committed in March and October this year.
Ms O'Gorman said her client was highly regarded by his colleagues, and had a 10-page CV including senior positions since he obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 1996, and doctorate in psychiatry in 2002.
Ms O'Gorman said Choudhary was a fellow of the Royal Australasian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and most recently worked within the Redcliffe-Caboolture Public Mental Health Services in different capacities as senior medical officer, consultant psychiatrist and clinical director.
She told the court Metro North Hospital and Health Service had suspended Choudhary when charges were filed, and disciplinary action would follow court proceedings.
Ms O'Gorman assured the court the medication had not impacted Choudhary's ability to work, and he was "extremely remorseful".
She said Choudhary was now in the care of a psychiatrist and general practitioner, and was legally medicated.
Magistrate Graham Hillan said Choudhary's offences were aggravated by his position which carried a lot of "trust" and high community expectations.
"What you have done is illegal, you were driven by embarrassment," Mr Hillan said.
"This could have been done by legal channels, you have bypassed that by creating fraudulent scripts and a misleading email to boot."
Choudhary was fined $1200 total for all offences, and no conviction was recorded given his otherwise clean criminal record.