30 Jul 2013

Usage of ketamine cleared by commissioner

3:08 pm on 30 July 2013

The Health and Disability Commissioner has cleared a psychiatrist over the contentious prescription of the drug ketamine to mental health patients in Dunedin in 2010 and 2011.

Ketamine is licensed for use as an anaesthetic but was given to 11 patients at Dunedin hospital with severe depression.

Commissioner Anthony Hill said the patients gave consent and had the information needed.

But the report says the situation was borderline and a more disciplined approach is required. The commissioner was also critical of an initial hands-off oversight by Southern District Health Board.