Psychiatrist to admit to improper prescription in fatal crash
By Vanda Carson
In the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal yesterday, a barrister for Philip Bird told judge Suzanne Sheridan Dr Bird intended to admit “unsatisfactory professional performance warranting sanction” at a hearing set down for today.
Kerri Mellifont QC told the tribunal Dr Bird admitted he “fell short” in his diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and his consequent prescription of dexamphetamine for three patients.
The Medical Board originally accused Dr Bird of professional misconduct in relation to 12 patients.
Judge Sheridan said a hearing into the alleged misconduct may begin today if the tribunal was not satisfied with the out-of-court compromise agreement between the Medical Board and Dr Bird.
Dr Bird’s practices came into question nearly eight years ago when one of his patients, Anthony Thomson, 46, was intoxicated on at least three prescribed drugs, including high amounts of dexamphetamine, when his northbound car crashed into a car heading south on Nambour Connection Rd at Woombye on the Sunshine Coast.
Five-year-old twins Grace and Jessica Hornby and their grandmother Denise Mansell died, as well as Mr Thomson.
Dr Bird allowed Mr Thomson to pick up the drugs fortnightly.
Mr Thomson binged and had taken 10 times the prescribed dose just before the deadly crash.
Another professional colleague, Robert Anderson, complained to the medical watchdog in 2012.
“I am concerned that Dr Bird’s practice doesn’t seem to have altered since the death of four people,” he wrote.