File Number: Nur21/522P
Practitioner: Bibin Yohannan Baby
Hearing Start Date:
Hearing End Date:
Theft and/or Burglary
Documents/Communications - falsification (Established)
Authority - Lied/misled (Established)
Name Suppression to Practitioner
Order for interim name suppression for the practitioner and suppression of any identifying details
No permanent non-publication orders
Precis of Decision:
On 20 September 2021 the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal) considered a charge of professional misconduct charge laid by a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) against Mr Bibin Yohannan Baby registered nurse of Wellington (the Nurse).
The charge alleged that:
1. During the period of 30 November 2018 to 10 October 2019 while employed by Emerge Aotearoa the nurse misappropriated Emerge funds for his own use, in particular the nurse purchased fuel for his personal vehicle using his Emerge business credit card:
1.1 On 30 November 2018 - $70.03;
1.2 On 11 December 2018 - $50;
1.3 On 19 December 2018 - $70;
1.4 On 15 January 2019 - $61.05;
1.5 On 16 January 2019 - $49.90;
1.6 On 4 February 2019 - $50;
1.7 On 8 March 2019 - $50;
1.8 On 1 August 2019 – $77.79;
1.9 On 2 September 2019 - $80.
2. Over the same period made false entries into the Emerge travel logbook, in particular;
2.1 On 2 September 2019 made an entry into the travel logbook stating he had been at Bowen Hospital when he had not.
3. On 6 September 2019 when questioned about the allegation, the nurse provided false statements to his employer, in particular:
3.1 The fuel purchased on 2 September 2019 was for an Emerge car when it was for his own car.
3.2 The Emerge petrol card was broken and he was waiting for a new one, when the replacement card had already been received and was in use at the time.
The hearing was heard by audio-visual link.
When the nurse first started working at Emerge as a Service Manager for the Housing Recovery Service, he was issued with a business credit card. Each Emerge service vehicle had its own fuel card.
In about September 2019 a newly appointed District Manager for Emerge conducted a check on the use of credit cards. A number of discrepancies were uncovered between the ledger for the nurse’s assigned business credit card and the vehicle logbook over a period of approximately 10 months from November 2018 to September 2019. Approximately $500 of Emerge funds had been misappropriated.
When initially questioned over the 2 September 2019 discrepancy the nurse lied to his employer about why he used his business card to purchase fuel rather than the vehicle’s fuel card. When questioned again in October 2019, the nurse admitted he had lied and that he had used his business credit card to purchase fuel for his own personal car. The nurse resigned immediately and forfeited his wages in the sum of $5,200. The matter was not referred to the Police.
The Nurse accepted that his conduct amounted to professional misconduct. The Tribunal agreed. In stealing from his employer, the nurse potentially deprived service users of resources. The nurse’s conduct was a clear breach of trust, especially given the nurse was employed in a managerial role with a higher level of responsibility and trust. The Tribunal found that the dishonest conduct clearly amounted to malpractice and negligence in that it was a departure from accepted practice to a significant degree. The Tribunal also found that the conduct lowered the reputation of the nursing profession.
The Tribunal ordered that the Nurse:
• Be censured;
• On return to practice, have conditions placed on his practice for periods of between 12 months and two years;
• Pay 20% ($3,200) of the total costs of the hearing.
The Tribunal directed publication of the decision and a summary.