Rose Streat is an expert anaesthetist

Sophie Ryan and?Brendan Manning report on another sad case where alcohol is in charge

An Auckland doctor training to be an anaesthetist has been censured and suspended from practice after being charged with professional misconduct over her struggles with alcohol.

Dr Rose Streat had to be breath-tested before and during each shift for the Auckland District Health Board after being given a second chance to qualify.

She was allowed to return to the training programme last year after convincing officials she had overcome problems that saw her escorted from an operating theatre at Auckland City Hospital in 2008.

But yesterday, she was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in Auckland.

One of the two charges against Dr Streat was laid after it was revealed she had pleaded guilty to driving drunk in August 2012.

The other was a cumulative charge of professional misconduct after she was found to be drinking alcohol despite signing a contract saying she would abstain, to have lied about drinking, failed to disclose the drink-driving charge and failed to engage in the professional conduct inquiry.

Dr Rose is in serious trouble. ?Her peers and her profession have bent over backwards to help her, but she even failed on-the-job breath tests coming to work. ?

In September 2012, she told the health board she was sober and ready to return to the trainee programme.

She did not tell anyone she was facing a charge of drink-driving.

The tribunal heard evidence from the board’s clinical director of anaesthesia, Dr Charles Bradfield, who said he felt it was necessary to take steps to protect other staff and patients from Dr Streat’s condition.

He drew up a contract that would ensure she was breath-tested before and at a midway point of each shift.

Six days after she started back at work, Dr Streat failed a breath test.

“I was incredulous that she had failed the test, and initially wondered whether there was something wrong with the Breathalyzer, so I repeated the test,” Dr Bradfield said.

The second test also returned positive. “Throughout this, Dr Streat absolutely denied to my face that she had been drinking.”

For some people, ?alcohol controls them. ?Rose still has to bottom out and ask for help. ?Until then, everyone else is wasting their time with her.

It appears to go against all logic that someone who is a qualified doctor and and trying to qualify as an?anaesthetist would be so ‘stupid’ as to drink before going to work, knowing that she would be breath tested.

For some people, alcohol is in the driving seat. ?And it isn’t easy to take control back. ?It can take years before you bounce off the bottom. ?And some never do.

Dr Rose Streat should obviously not be in an area of medical care such as being an?anaesthetist. ?She’s putting other lives at risk in addition to her own.

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– NZ Herald

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