Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Filipino nurse in Melbourne suspended for stealing medical supplies and importing a skin-whitening medication

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A Filipino nurse in Melboune received a warning for stealing medical supplies from her job in order to inject a friend and herself with skin-lightening medicine.

Joanna Remandaban, a registered nurse, stole cannula equipment while on the night shift in June 2019.

Giving sets, bungs, cannulas, and saline ampoules were among the goods she used on a regular basis at work and then destroyed.

After discovering the theft, Remandaban’s employer immediately suspended her and two weeks later terminated her employment.

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The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia sent the Filipino-trained nurse to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2022 for theft, after discovering she was using the supplies to give Glutanex-Drip to herself and a friend.

It is not approved for use in Australia, and Remandaban imported the medicine without the required Therapeutic Goods Administration approval or a medical practitioner’s prescription.

Remandaban’s registration was suspended by the Nursing and Midwifery Board as an “immediate action.”.

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Remandaban informed the board that she had made arrangements with a friend to import Glutanex-Drip from South Korea.

They divided the $680 cost, and the women helped each other administer the medicine eight separate times.

During a 2022 tribunal session, Remandaban defined the drug as a “vitamin/antioxidant and beauty product.”.

“It is popular in a lot of countries in Asia, especially in my own country, the Philippines,” she went on to say.

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“Before all of this, I had taken Glutanex-Drip in the Philippines. Many of my pals from there have also taken it. It’s fairly common among the young folks there.”

In January 2024, VCAT members determined that Remandaban’s behaviour constituted professional misconduct and that the need for general deterrence had been appropriately fulfilled by Remandaban’s 20-month immediate action suspension.

It did not impose any more punishment, but she will need to continue working with a mentor for the next 12 months.

She has now returned to practice.

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