The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has found that Dr Martyn Robyn Howells altered the medical records of 12 patients between 2004 and 2010 to maintain their enrolment at Green Island Medical Centre, which he owned.

This resulted in a financial benefit of $3929.

Although Howells repaid the $3929 in December 2015, the tribunal found the alterations were based on negligence, and the conduct was bringing discredit to the medical profession.

“The extent of the negligence involved does not maintain standards in the profession and does not protect the public,” the tribunal’s decision said.

“Although the individual patients were not compromised, the public funding system of patient care depends heavily on doctors’ proper compliance with the rules and proper compliance with the requirements entitling them to capitation funding.

“Disciplinary sanction is required to maintain standards in the profession and it is required to protect the public, particularly insofar as public funds, which are not an unlimited resource, are compromised by activity and negligence of this type.”

The doctor was ordered to pay a contribution of $20,000 towards the total costs of the Professional Conduct Committee and $6000 towards the costs of the tribunal.

The tribunal also censured the doctor and imposed conditions on his practice for three years.

Source: NZ Herald

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