A doctor training to be an anaesthetist is facing
disciplinary action after failing to stay sober at work.
Doctor Phoebe Rose Streat had been re-admitted to the
Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) trainee anaesthetist
programme in February 2013 on the condition that she consumed
no alcohol inside or outside the workplace after an incident
in 2008 when she was drunk at work.
She is facing two charges of professional misconduct after
being charged with drink-driving and failing a breathalyser
test at work after re-joining the training programme in 2013.
Supervisor of Training for Australian and New Zealand College
of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Doctor Sarah Nicolson told a Health
Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal hearing today that she
escorted Dr Streat out of an operating theatre at Auckland
City Hospital when she could smell alcohol on her breath and
she appeared drunk in August 2008.
Dr Streat moved to Australia after not sitting her final
exams with ANZCA.
In September 2012 she approached ADHB, saying she was now
sober and ready to return to the trainee programme.
She did not tell her potential employer that she was facing a
charge of drink-driving at the same time.
The tribunal heard evidence from the clinical director of
anaesthesia for ADHB Dr Charles Bradfield that he felt it was
necessary to take steps to protect other staff and patients
from Dr Streat's condition.
He told the tribunal how Dr Streat let her colleagues know
that she had an alcohol problem, that she was now sober and
ready to return to work.
Dr Bradfield drew up a contract that would ensure Dr Streat
was breathalysed before each shift and at a midway point
during the shift.
Six days after she started back at work Dr Streat failed a
"I was incredulous that she had failed the test, and
initially wondered whether there was something wrong with the
breathalyser, 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."
Dr Streat was stood down and invited to attend a disciplinary
meeting. She resigned from work on March 6, saying the
positive test came as a shock to her and she admitted to
having consumed three drinks the night before the positive
test was taken.
The tribunal hearing continues.