A SENIOR Wigan-based doctor who helped himself to drugs from a hospital shelf said he took them to treat his sore toe.
Consultant anaesthetist Mohamed Tareq Tahboob, 62, is alleged to have removed antibiotics and painkillers while working as a locum in a surgery at Wrightington Hospital, Wigan.
Married father-of-four Dr Tahboob claims he injected himself with the antibiotics to ensure he could carry on working so elderly patients’ hip and knee operations would not have to be cancelled.
He also said he later injected himself with the painkillers to ensure he could drive home to his wife and children.
A General Medical Council panel is meeting in Manchester to determine whether his fitness to practise was impaired by his alleged misconduct. Dr Tahboob told the GMC hearing: “There’s no doubt in my mind that it was absolutely wrong. I let myself down, I let my colleagues down, I let the trust down and I let my family down as well.”
He added: “My whole concentration was on stopping any patient from being cancelled from the list.”
Dr Tahboob, known to colleagues as Tareq, had been working for the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust for four years when it is claimed he removed and injected the drugs in September or October 2009.
It is claimed he removed three vials of painkiller Tramadol and two doses of an antibiotic called Cefuroxime, but failed to write a prescription or consult another doctor. He admitted doing this but denied his actions were dishonest.
He said the big toe on his right foot had become infected and was swollen and very painful.
Dr Tahboob said he asked another consultant anaesthetist to insert a needle called a cannula into his left hand. He then injected himself with the Cefuroxime and carried on working.
He said the pharmacy was closed when he later injected the Tramadol until the pain eased enough for him to drive.
Peter Horgan, for the GMC, said: “The heart of these allegations is that a senior clinician has helped himself to antibiotics and painkilling drugs and then gone on to self-medicate. The issue is one of dishonesty.”