Dr Joseph Grech, Sydney GP Suspended

Dr Joe Grech, General Practitioner has been suspended by the Civil And Administrative Tribunal, NSW, for a period of 6 months. It was found that-

  1. Dr Grech inappropriately prescribed erectile dysfunction medication, benzodiazepines, anti-psychotic drugs, Duromine- a weight loss medication. With one minor exception, the Tribunal found Complaint 1 to constitute unsatisfactory professional conduct.
  2. Dr Grech breached professional boundaries with patients, particularly by providing medical treatment to his mentally ill girlfriend, and this amounted to unsatisfactory professional conduct.
  3. Dr Grech gave false and misleading information to the Medical Council when he denied that Patient C had ever been his patient. This is unethical, and the Tribunal found that it constituted unsatisfactory professional conduct.
  4. Dr Grech failed to notify the National Board within 7 days, that he had been charged on 24 April 2018 with criminal offences punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more and that on 4 February 2019 he had been the subject of findings of guilt for offences punishable by imprisonment. Technically, this complaint constitutes unsatisfactory professional conduct.
  5. The Tribunal found: “… we consider the appropriate order to be that Dr Grech be reprimanded and that his registration be suspended for 6 months. During that time, if Dr Grech wishes to resume practice, he must satisfactorily complete a tailored education program….On resuming practice, Dr Grech’s registration will be subject to the conditions identified below. He must practise under what is known as category C supervision. He must practise only in a group practice where there are at least two other registered medical practitioners. Such a condition helps ensure that Dr Grech will receive support from professional colleagues. He will not receive that support if he engages in home visits or visits to aged care facilities, so he is prohibited from consulting in those environments. Although Dr Grech’s inappropriate prescribing related to Schedule 4D drugs, he should also be prohibited from dealing with Schedule 8 drugs. Both Schedules comprise drugs of dependence and Dr Grech has not demonstrated that he can appropriately prescribe such drugs. In addition, we strongly recommend that Dr Grech be subject to a Performance Assessment.”
  6. Dr Grech had practised in various locations in Sydney including Broadway and Darlinghurst.

Source: Health Care Complaints Commission v Grech [2021] NSWCATOD 14

According to the Herald, “for nearly two decades police received a steady stream of intelligence suggesting that Dr Grech has been involved in drug supply and possession and has been providing false medical certificates in return for cocaine, heroin and ice.”

Source: “Prominent GP suspended for lying to medical body, inappropriately prescribing drugs”, SMH 04.02.21

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