There are claims of a cover-up at a Sydney hospital, as allegations emerge a drug-addicted nurse was caught stealing and using medications, intended for cancer patients.
Whistleblowers have told 7News the nurse was busted writing fake prescriptions, but the police weren’t informed.
Workers at St George Hospital claim they had to rush to the aid of one of their own – a man, lying on the floor with a syringe in his arm in the quiet room of the oncology ward.
For months, he had been suspected of swiping heavy-duty painkillers from his patients – long-suffering cancer patients who need the medication the most.
Lorraine Long, the founder of the Medical Error Action Group, is horrified by the nurse’s alleged actions.
"They go through excruciating pain, and then to deprive patients of their rightful prescribed drugs is despicable," she said.
The syringe reportedly had traces of Hydromorphone and Propofol which are both potent anaesthetics. It was a Propofol overdose which killed Michael Jackson.
Dr John D’Arcy warns about the damaging effects of such drugs: "All these synthetic drugs are medically effective but they're addictive and as potentially fatal as heroin."
Whistleblowers also told 7News the nurse had previously been caught writing false prescriptions for the painkiller Endone. If this allegation proves to be correct, it alone would constitute fraud.
"It's what they call 'cover-up'. It's easier just to bury all the stuff and just put it down to a distasteful episode," Ms Long said.
The health department denies there has been any sort of cover-up, saying an investigation is underway over "a possible breach of the Code of Conduct" and that if appropriate would immediately refer the matter to authorities.
Lorraine Long isn’t convinced the Health Department's investigation is as rigorous as they claim.
"We've been told Hydromorphone, Propofol, Endone, Valium and Morphine have all regularly gone missing for two years while cancer sufferers went without, and not once has the hospital called police," she said.
"All clinicians, and particularly surgeons and anaesthetists, should be drug tested on a random basis."