The Corruption and Crime Commission has found alarming rates of drug abuse and theft by doctors and nurses in hospitals in Western Australia. The state’s corruption watchdog delivered the report early this week. They found when controls were put in place strong painkiller usage fell from 16,00 to 200 within a year. The report also stated that a new alarming work culture of thievery and drug use by staff is on the rise.  Examples include a doctor who stole restricted drugs and drug-administering equipment and then found in a dozy condition and ignoring patients, a nurse stealing from the ICU and found “slumped” in the bathroom, and another nurse stealing and self administrating drugs at a regional hospital. This new culture seems to stem from a sense of entitlement (due to long working hours), loyalty towards colleagues, and a fear of reprisal for reporting other staff members. While new strategies are slowly being implemented Mr. Cook the Labor Health spokesmen has stated,” the government also needed to take note of the pressure facing front-line staff in the health sector.”

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