Drug-abusing Glace Bay doctor’s licence revoked
A former Glace Bay doctor has lost his medical licence after he failed to abide by an earlier agreement that prevented him from using drugs.
The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia said Monday that Thomas Crawford’s licence to practise was revoked April 12.
A revocation is the “most severe disciplinary action” the college can impose — effectively removing the licence, said Dr. Gus Grant, the college’s chief executive officer and registrar.
A physician can only apply for reinstatement after having been out of practice for two years, and then must meet rigorous criteria in order to get approval, Grant said.
The college said Crawford “removed himself from practice in the latter part of 2009 and has not practised medicine in Nova Scotia since that point.”
A doctor who once specialized in treating patients with addictions, Crawford opened his practice in Glace Bay in 1996.
At that time, problems with drugs had already affected his career. He had quit his practice in New Brunswick after being suspended for substance abuse, according to a report from the Nova Scotia college.
Crawford was issued a licence to practise medicine in this province in 1996, provided he did not prescribe narcotics.
In 1997, the college received a complaint that he was impaired on duty and, in an agreement with the college, he underwent counselling and surrendered his narcotics prescription privileges. Crawford was monitored for drug use until 2003.
He received an interim suspension in 2008, which was formalized in a hearing in 2009, after he relapsed into drug use.
In its most recent report, the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia said Crawford has acknowledged that “on several occasions” he breached the 2009 agreement.
Crawford could not be reached for comment Monday.