Ripple effects of GP’s insurance fraud

by IBO 27 Jun 2014

Ripple effects of GP’s insurance fraud

A GP suspended from practising for two months for committing insurance fraud has undermined the professional relationship between insurers and medical professionals, a tribunal has found.

Rotorua GP Dr Peter Jacob Arnold Adams pleaded guilty in the Rotorua District Court last year after making a false travel insurance claim for items allegedly lost or stolen on an overseas flight, including two rings valued at $4500, the New Zealand Herald reported.

He was convicted of attempting to obtain cash by deception and ordered to pay $500 costs and now the New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has formally censured him and suspended him from practising for two months, the report said.

He was also ordered to pay $7720 costs and conditions were imposed around his return to work, including telling any employers of the outcome of the charge.

The tribunal said the fact the offending was against an insurance company was an aggravating feature as insurers "rely upon the honesty and integrity of medical practitioners" and a false claim undermined that professional relationship.

It said while there was no issue with his general competence as a doctor, health practitioners had a "wider professional obligation to act ethically, honestly and lawfully in accordance with the standards of professional conduct expected of the medical profession".

The tribunal suppressed several details, including details of Dr Adams' personal and financial circumstances and the name of the medical centre where he worked. However it denied Dr Adams' application for name suppression, said the report.

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