Doctors in Newfoundland and Labrador continue to lock horns with government over a new prescription watch program to reduce what the Minister of Health calls the “opioid crisis.”
Doctors maintain that the new drug monitoring program for addictive drugs needs changing for several reasons, however the Minister of Health says the NLMA’s stance is tantamount to defending rogue physicians.
Minister John Haggie rolled out new legislation this week which gives government inspectors greater powers. For instance, they will be able to enter the office of a physician without a warrant, seize medical records, and share that information with law enforcement.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association agrees with the premise of the law, to reduce abuse of pain killing meds, but calls the search and seizure powers as the toughest in the country and largely unnecessary.
NLMA executive director Robert Thompson told VOCM Open Line with Paddy Daly they’re concerned that government could add to the medications on their watch list at any time.
Thompson says the minister could add antibiotics to the list and then enter a physician’s office to look at personal information.
Minister Haggie says the legislation is specifically for the opioid crisis. He points to a situation in Fortune yesterday in which a person was arrested with 50-60 OxyContin pills, meds which had to come by way of a prescription. He blamed “rogue physicians.”